UPS, Teamsters Reach Tentative Deal

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The International Brotherhood of Teamsters and United Parcel Service reached a tentative agreement on a six-year contract last night, 16 days before their current contract was set to expire.


The pact fell short of what the Teamsters initially sought regarding the creation of full-time jobs for part-time employees, according to reports. UPS also got a longer contract than the current five-year pact. In return, the union got what it claimed was by far the richest labor agreement in the shipping company's 94-year history, with overall gains that are more than twice as large as those of the current contract.


While details will be revealed at a news conference today, analysts said the average full-time wage for Teamsters will rise 22 percent over the life of the contract, part-time wages will rise at a higher rate, UPS will create 10,000 new full-time jobs for part-timers and 10,000 jobs in non-package services will become Teamster positions.


The deal is subject to approval by rank-and-file Teamsters, which could take about a month, reports said.


UPS said last week it was losing 250,000 packages a day to FedEx and other rivals as customers fearing a potential strike shifted carriers. Because of those lost shipments, UPS has cut thousands of jobs from its work force, many of them held by Teamsters.


A two-week strike by 185,000 Teamsters in 1997 cost UPS $750 million. The Teamsters now represent 230,000 of the 370,000 UPS workers.


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