United Parcel Services (UPS) and the Teamsters union are set to resume negotiations this week on a new collective bargaining agreement. 

UPS Teamsters to Go On Strike

Negotiations broke down earlier this month, and unionized workers have been holding rallies and practice pickets across the country. The Teamsters, representing more than half of the company’s workforce, will resume talks with UPS on Tuesday.

That leaves less than a week to agree before the current contract expires at the end of the day on Monday, July 31.

The union authorized a strike, and Sean M. O’Brien, who was elected last year to lead the union, has vowed to do so if their demands aren’t met.

Union Organization

The Teamsters have 1.2 million members, making it one of the largest unions in the world. Its membership is diverse, ranging from police to bakers, but it is most famous for representing freight drivers and warehouse workers. Shipping and logistics giant UPS is the single largest employer in the Teamsters Union.

“This vote shows that hundreds of thousands of Teamsters are united and determined to get the best contract in our history at UPS. If this multibillion-dollar corporation fails to deliver on the contract that our hardworking members deserve, UPS will be striking itself,” said Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien.

“The strongest leverage our members have is their labor and they are prepared to withhold it to ensure UPS acts accordingly.”

While a strike would take a toll on the economy, due to delayed shipments and deliveries for consumers and businesses across the country, making a deal will impact UPS’ finances.

The company enjoyed a record profit of $13.1 billion in 2022 but forecasted a slower 2023, and its first-quarter profit was down over 21% in the first three months of this year compared to the same period a year ago. 

Impact of a Strike

A strike by the UPS Teamsters could be the most expensive in the U.S. in at least a century, according to the Anderson Economic Group, a Michigan-based think tank specializing in labor strikes’ impact.

The group’s analysis puts the economic losses from a 10-day strike at more than $7 billion, including at least $4 billion in UPS customer losses and more than $1 billion in lost wages. 

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