By John D. Schulz, Contributing Editor- as posted on www.logisticsmgmt.com
UPS Freight, the nation’s fourth-largest LTL carrier, has secured five years of labor pace with ratification of a new five-year labor agreement by its 13,000 Teamsters.
The deal makes those workers the highest-paid in the LTL sector, earning about $70,000 base pay by the end of the contract, according to the Teamsters.
The vote was overwhelmingly approved by more than 2-to-1. The yes votes were 5,195 to 2,094 no’s as nearly 70 percent of UPS Freight Teamsters voted.
The original pact was rejected last summer by a 70-30 percent margin of the rank and file. The two sides went back to the bargaining table and appeared to have hammered out a down palatable to both sides.
Teamster “two-man” local union leaders representing UPS Freight workers across the country had endorsed a new tentative national agreement in the week prior to the rank and file vote.
The new agreement gives UPS Freight workers what the Teamsters called “major economic improvements” and job security measures at a time when some LTL companies are cutting wages and benefits.
Most notably, YRC Freight is struggling with its Teamsters members to approve a five-year continuation of 15 percent wage and benefit cuts for its 26,000 workers
Highlights of the new UPS Freight deal (which is separate from the recently approved UPS small package pact covering some 260,000 Teamsters) include:
-$2.50 per hour wage increases during the life of the five-year deal;
-improved pension benefits. After 35 years of service, pensions will rise to $3,700 a month, going to $3,900 in 2017;
-the current starting salary will rise to $18.75 from $16.10 hourly.
-creation of at least 2,350 new full-time jobs within the first three years of the deal;
-health insurance premiums will remain free for the basic health plan, and those in a buy-up plan will have their premiums reduced by 10 percent;
-job protections for road drivers, and a reduction in the use of non-union subcontracting on long-haul routes;
-obligates UPS Freight to recall all road drivers to full employment within their classification within 90 days of ratification at all terminals where subcontractors are currently used;
-more full-time dock jobs;
-stronger seniority rights, and vacation benefits for military veterans who will accrue vacation time while serving in the military; and
-reduction of health care costs for UPS Freight retirees