January 7, 2014 10:00 AM, EST
Union Leaders Endorse New UPS Freight Deal, Clearing Way for Vote
Joe Boris

Local Teamsters leaders  cleared the way for members in UPS Inc.’s Freight unit to vote on a new tentative contract that  comes seven months after the company’s original proposal was rejected by the union by a wide margin.

The union announced late on Jan. 6 that a meeting of local leaders backed the five-year agreement covering about 13,000 workers that includes a $2.50-per-hour wage increase. The union said the deal would make Freight employees the highest paid less-than-truckload workers.

About 70% of workers at UPS Freight in June rejected the company’s first contract offer in a separate vote from the UPS package contract that was approved on a national level.

Also included in the LTL agreement are improved pension benefits, more job guarantees and changes to control medical costs for members, the union said in a website posting.

Union rules require local  leadership to approve the submission of the contract to a membership vote. The union said meetings were slated for Jan. 11 and Jan. 12 to explain the contract to LTL workers.

The package contract, covering more than 235,000 workers, continues in the ratification process because five more side agreements have to be approved before the entire contract can take effect.

UPS Inc. is ranked No. 1 on the Transport Topics Top 100 listing of U.S. and Canadian for-hire carriers.