UPS union members who work in freight authorize strike

New Yorkers who are in a union or is seeking to join one should keep an eye on how employers treat employees during these collective bargaining sessions. Not only can it impact daily lives -- especially if it is a prominent company -- but it can provide a roadmap as to how labor relations should be handled. Union members or prospective union members should keep track of these situations and, of course, have legal assistance with their own case.

Negotiations between the union representing UPS freight workers and the company are ongoing for a new contract, but it has informed freight customers that alternatives should be in place if there is a work stoppage. There is already authorization for a strike if workers vote to reject the new contract offer. UPS is represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. For its part, the company believes the offer should be agreed to with improvements to wages and benefits. There will be a stop on pickups of large and heavy items and the freight network will be emptied so there will not be disruptions as the negotiations continue and the decision upon whether to agree to the contract or not is made.

The company says that it is disappointed that the workers authorized a strike if there is no agreement. The bargaining unit consists of around 12,000 freight workers. The last strike for UPS workers was more than two decades ago. The company and the union were in negotiations for much of the summer. There was a tentative agreement in place in October, but it was rejected by approximately 1,700 votes. The negotiations needed to restart. The Teamsters say that the company failed to deal with certain issues the workers were concerned about. There is a major difference between UPS drivers, handlers and sorters and their union and the freight workers as the former has around 250,000 workers.

Every link in the chain of a big company is critical and all deserve to have their concerns addressed and their rights adhered to whether it is a smaller division or a larger one. With labor relations, the possibility of a work stoppage is a critical part of getting the maximum in employee benefits. As the UPS case shows, workers must agree on the contract with a vote. For people who are in a union and seeking to improve their standing when collective bargaining or are planning to form or join a union, having legal guidance is crucial. Calling a law firm that handles unions is the first thing to do.

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