About 3,800 United Parcel Service workers in Canada went on strike yesterday, refusing the shipper's new collective bargaining agreement offers, according to Teamsters Canada. UPS said it would deliver all packages already in transit but suspended all customer pickups within Canada as well as ground shipments into the country.
While the strike affects 1.1 percent of UPS' total of 360,000 workers worldwide, it does not directly affect workers or packages in the United States or other destinations worldwide.
The Canadian employees' contract expired July 31. UPS met with the union during the past five months, and Canadian Teamsters management entered into a handshake agreement about a month ago.
Meanwhile, the Independent Pilots Association, the bargaining unit for 2,500 pilots who fly for UPS, issued a statement indicating that its members will honor Teamsters Canada's primary picket lines.
“Our pilots will not fly into or out of Canada [as] long as the Teamsters are on strike in that country,” IPA president Tom Nicholson said in a statement.
UPS and the IPA have been negotiating a new contract for pilots since October 2002. The company and union are scheduled to meet again next month under the guidance of the National Mediation Board, the federal agency that governs the airline and railroad industries in the United States.