Teamsters, UPS Get A Head Start on 2008 Contract Negotiations

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The International Brotherhood of Teamsters and UPS began negotiations Sept. 18 on a new contract to replace a six-year contract for drivers and package sorters in the United States. Their present contract  expires July 31, 2008.

The Teamsters represent roughly 238,000 UPS hourly workers in the United States, consisting of full-time drivers and part-time package sorters.

Atlanta-based UPS, the world's largest shipping carrier, has 407,200 employees globally. UPS recently reached a new contract deal with its pilots, who are represented by a different union.

While it is unusual to start contract talks this early, UPS has done so this year because of the complex issues that need to be addressed, and because an early start to negotiations greatly increases the chances of an early finish, the company said.

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