UPS Pilots Seek Mediation Exit, Mediator Halts Talks

Share this content:
The National Mediation Board ordered an indefinite recess in UPS's labor negotiations with the Independent Pilots Association, UPS said on Friday.

The union representing UPS pilots sought release from federal mediation so it could strike, citing three years of contract negotiations with the company that have failed to reach an agreement.

However, the suspension in talks removes any threat of a strike.

The parties are hammering out a new contract for UPS pilots.

Contract talks between UPS and its pilots began in October 2002. The mediation board has overseen the talks since August. The pilots' contract became amendable Dec. 31, 2003, but has remained unchanged since then.

If IPA's request is granted it will lead to a 30-day countdown to a strike or lockout at UPS, the union said.

There can be no strike or work stoppage while the parties are in recess, however. UPS pilots are legally obligated under the Railway Labor Act to continue working under the existing contract during any recess.

Although no future mediation sessions have been scheduled at this time, the mediator indicates both sides should "re-evaluate negotiating positions with respect to the remaining issues and prepare to bring the negotiations to a successful conclusion," according to the UPS.

"We made progress during talks this week," said Bob Lekites, vice president of UPS airlines and international operations. "While the company and the union still have differences to address, UPS remains committed to continue negotiations until an agreement can be reached."

"This is not a step we take lightly," said Capt Tom Nicholson, president of the Independent Pilots Association said after the union asked for release from negotiations. "In the 15-year history of negotiating contracts with UPS, this is the first time we have requested a release from mediation."

A recess often is a normal part of the mediation process, giving the company and union time to re-evaluate their positions. It does not prohibit the two parties from continuing to talk.

The main contract items still on the table are compensation and benefits. UPS has said its pilots already are among the highest paid in the industry, earning an average of $175,000 a year.

UPS continues to believe the federally prescribed negotiating process will result in a contract that best serves the interests of its employees, customers and shareholders, Lekites said.

Moving forward, the federal mediator will continue to control the timing and pace of negotiations. "The company remains ready and willing to meet at any time or place specified by the federal mediator," Lekites said.

This is the second recess since the company and the union began talks under the auspices of a federal mediator. The previous recess was called in June 2005. While that recess lasted three months, there is no prescribed time period for a recess.

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

We recently were named B2B Magazine's Direct Marketing Agency of the Year, and with good reason: We make real, measureable, positive change happen for our clients. A full-service agency founded in 1974, Bader Rutter expertly helps you get the right message to the right audience at the right time through the right channels. As we engage our clients' audiences along their journey, direct marketing (email, direct mail, phone, SMS) and behavioral marketing (SEM, retargeting, contextual) channels deliver information relevant to the needs of each stage. We are experts at implementing and leveraging marketing technologies such as CRM and marketing automation in order to synchronize sales and marketing communications. Our team of architects and activators plan, execute, measure and adjust in real time to ensure the strategy is working as needed and change things if it's not.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above