Teamsters Hold National Day of Action, Continue Talks

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The International Brotherhood of the Teamsters holds a National Day of Action today to support the union's negotiations with United Parcel Service on a new contract. The current five-year contract expires July 31.

The event begins a weeklong petition drive in which Teamsters representatives will visit UPS work sites nationwide seeking signatures in support of the national negotiating committee and its efforts to secure a strong contract.

A message on the Teamsters Web site said "your participation is critical. The goal is to sign up every UPS Teamster. We are going to show the company that we are united, and that we will do whatever it takes to secure a strong contract."

The message asks members to sign the petition, either at their work site or local union, or download a petition at the Web site.

The Teamsters' negotiating committee met June 3 for the second consecutive week of talks in Washington.

The union and UPS also recently reached a deal on the issue of supervisors doing work that union members contend should be theirs. A union spokesman said that contract talks last week led to a tentative pact that basically prevents supervisors from doing union work. Union officials have claimed the practice is widespread at UPS and has worsened since the last contract was reached in 1997. Teamsters leaders had said the issue would be important in negotiations on a new contract.

Last month, the 93 percent of Teamsters voting approved a walkout if an agreement is not reached before the current contract expires. The union represents 230,000 UPS drivers, sorters, clerks and loaders. Teamsters walked out on UPS for 15 days in 1997.


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