January 13, 2014 9:30 AM, EST
UPS Freight Teamsters Approve 5-Year Pact
Joe Boris

UPS Freight employees in the Teamsters union approved a five-year agreement that gives workers a total $2.50 per hour wage boost that the union said makes them the best-paid drivers in the less-than-truckload industry.

The tentative contract that covers 13,000 workers was announced on Jan. 6, offering higher wages, improved pension benefits, new health care options and offers a new structure for subcontracting. The union announced the approval Jan. 12.

The tentative agreement was announced seven months after an earlier contract was rejected by nearly 70% of those voting. The Freight vote in June was at the same time as the UPS Package contract, which was approved on a national level but cannot take effect until five remaining local agreements are ratified.

“UPS Freight members told us their top concerns were pensions and protecting their work, and this new contract addresses those issues head on,” Ken Hall, Teamsters general secretary-treasurer, said in a statement.

The company said it is “pleased” that the agreement was approved. “UPS and the Teamsters will implement the contract provisions as soon as possible,” spokesman Andy McGowan said.

Vote totals as of the evening of Jan. 12 were 5,195 for and 2,094 against. The union said a few small union locals hadn’t yet submitted results.

Teamsters at YRC Worldwide Inc. and ABF Freight System are working at reduced wages agreed to in separate contracts between the union and those carriers.

Other contract features are lower retiree health care costs and options for more part-time workers to advance to full-time status.