UPS and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters reached a five-year contract settlement today, averting a costly strike of 340,000 members that would have begun a week from today and giving part-time workers the pay increases their leadership had pushed for over the past few weeks, while handing newly energized organized labor a major victory. Starting part-time pay will be $21 per hour.
shipping and delivery
Less-than-truckload or LTL shipping has become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason. When shipping LTL freight, the shipper pays for the portion of a standard truck trailer their freight occupies, with the rest of the space shared by other companies. This provides many benefits to shippers and carriers, from cost to speed to environmental efficiency.
UPS has begun training nonunion workers among the manager ranks to step in as drivers and package handlers, should a contract settlement with the Teamsters fail to materialize before the July 31 deadline, a move that has angered the union as talks remain stalled with about two weeks remaining. The union president also said they don’t want or need the White House to mediate in the talks.
Can UPS and the Teamsters reach agreement in time? Should UPS meet the union’s demand for higher part-time worker pay, or leave its last offer on the table? Is there a joint realization that too much is at stake? And if it happens, how will other carriers pick up the slack? We discuss all this with Gaston Curk, CEO of postal consolidator OSM Worldwide in this MCM CommerceChat podcast.
The U.S. Postal Service this week launched a new service called Ground Advantage that seeks to win back some of the parcel volume lost to FedEx and UPS when the major carriers insourced much of what they once handed to USPS Parcel Select Ground, which is being folded into the new offering.
One ultimatum deadline between UPS and the Teamsters union was passed successfully on Friday, raising hopes of a contract settlement, but another one came and went today with prospects somewhat dimmed as the two sides cut off talks. Each party blamed the other for the breakdown, with three weeks left until the July 31 expiration of the current five-year agreement and pay the main sticking point.
Logistics experts had mostly positive reactions to Amazon Hub Delivery, the company’s latest last-mile move which enlists local businesses to earn extra money by making nearby deliveries in their spare time. Amazon is hoping to have 2,300 businesses recruited by the end of 2023 as it builds scale. Most saw it as a more economical option than the DSP model, giving Amazon more control.
Stepping up its hardball tactics, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters walked away from the bargaining table Wednesday in the midst of contract negotiations with UPS, demanding the carrier provide its last, best offer Friday or a strike would be a likely outcome, with worker pay the key issue. UPS says it is working around the clock to reach a settlement before the July 31 deadline.
FedEx reported a 10% drop in Q4 revenue as demand remains challenged and cost-cutting initiatives continue in an effort to boost the balance sheet, including idling more planes, while announcing it is folding Ground operations into Express in Canada, the first step in a much broader consolidation outlined in April. It’s a radical departure from the operating model of retired founder Fred Smith.
A tentative contract agreement has been reached between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA), easing concerns about a strike at 29 West Coast ports disrupting incoming freight from the Asia-Pacific region ahead of the fall and Q4. The deal ended 13 months of negotiations, but still requires ratification by both parties.