UPS-Teamsters deal: 9 reactions from Biden, industry groups

UPS-Teamsters deal: 9 reactions from Biden, industry groups

July 28, 2023

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After UPS and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters reached a tentative contract agreement on Tuesday, government officials and supply chain stakeholders appeared to breathe a sigh of relief.

The deal averted an Aug. 1 strike by UPS employees, which would have caused immense disruptions to the company’s network and likely the parcel delivery space as a whole. Although union members still have to review and ratify the agreement, a slew of government leaders, industry experts and trade groups are celebrating the news.

Here are some notable statements and comments about the tentative deal between UPS and the Teamsters.

President Joe Biden

“I applaud the Teamsters and UPS for coming together, negotiating in good faith, and reaching a tentative agreement [Tuesday] that will avoid a shutdown at UPS. While this agreement still awaits final ratification by Teamsters members, [Tuesday’s] announcement moves us closer to a better deal for workers that will also add to our economic momentum.”

“This agreement is a testament to the power of employers and employees coming together to work out their differences at the bargaining table in a manner that helps businesses succeed while helping workers secure pay and benefits they can raise a family on and retire with dignity and respect.”

Acting U.S. Secretary of Labor Julie Su

“UPS and the Teamsters are a model of what a positive, productive labor-management partnership can achieve. They’ve also demonstrated, yet again, that when the collective bargaining process is allowed to work, the results are invariably good for workers, good for business, and good for America.”

Abe Eshkenazi, CEO of the Association for Supply Chain Management (CBS News interview)

“I think we can all breathe a sigh of relief that it’s not going to happen. That’s first. Secondly, I think the predictions in terms of costs and delays in delivery for consumers and patients alike across our network, I think would have taken a substantial hit.”

“We don’t have another alternative to the volume that UPS delivers. So while the Postal Service or FedEx or other delivery companies may have picked up some of the volume that would have been impacted, we just don’t have enough volume or supply in the network to account for all the products that are shipped through UPS for small businesses as well as consumers.”

Alan Amling, distinguished fellow at the University of Tennessee’s Global Supply Chain Institute and former VP of corporate strategy for UPS

“Very promising news that UPS and the Teamsters have reached a tentative 5-year agreement.”

“Ratification by the rank-and-file is not assured, but it’s unlikely the Teamsters would send an agreement for a vote unless they were certain it would pass.”

“A ‘no’ vote by the membership would put a big question mark on their next big campaign…Amazon.”

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

“In my conversations with leadership of the union and the company, it was clear that both sides were committed to achieving an agreement that respects workers — and the agreement announced [Tuesday] reflects that commitment.”

“In times of extreme heat, the drivers will have air conditioning in their vehicles to help keep them safe. In recognition of the importance of part-time workers, this agreement will secure for them benefits and increased pay that are long overdue.”

New York City Comptroller Brad Lander

“Averting a strike with a deal is a win-win-win for UPS, the workers, the economy, consumers, and shareholders. As I wrote to UPS last week, an extended strike had the potential to inflict long-term damage to the company, weakening shareholder value and long-term returns. UPS instead recognized that reaching a fair deal with their labor partners was a far better way of strengthening the company.”

“UPS’ approach to these negotiations stands in stark contrast to gig economy transport and delivery companies whose business practices are steeped in squeezing every dollar from the people who deliver their profits. Rather than fight against minimum pay laws, app companies, Amazon, and others should follow suit, deliver fair wages, and respect their workers’ freedom of association.”

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