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The International Brotherhood of Teamsters announced last week that 93% of its UPS members and 91% of its UPS Freight members have endorsed strike action, if necessary, ahead of upcoming contract negotiations in the US.

The current contract between UPS and Teamsters expires on July 31st. A strike is not currently planned but the union will be able to use the vote as part of bargaining.

“This vote by our UPS and UPS Freight members gives the negotiating committees bargaining leverage this week and during subsequent negotiations for the national construct and the supplements,” said Denis Taylor, Co-Chairman of the Teamsters National UPS Negotiating Committee and Director of the Teamsters Package Division.

Strike action

“It is very helpful to have the members’ backing as we work toward negotiating strong contracts at UPS and UPS Freight.”

Issues at stake include pay, work schedules and expanding weekend services, including Saturday deliveries.

“UPS is confident in our ability to reach an agreement,” a company spokesperson said to CBS News. “Strike authorization votes do not mean a strike is imminent. The reality is that UPS and the Teamsters have already reached tentative agreements, subject to ratification, on a wide variety of non-economic issues.”

UPS workers in the US last went on strike in 1997, for more than two weeks.

(Source: CBS News)

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