Fri. Apr 12th, 2024

From today’s Axios:

UPS workers are celebrating the deal their union reached with the company on Tuesday as the biggest win in a generation.

Why it matters: The tentative five-year agreement between UPS and the Teamsters union representing more than 340,000 workers averted what would’ve been the biggest strike in decades. It will likely embolden unionized workers around the country to dig in their heels and demand higher wages and better benefits.

  • The deal included pay raises across the board, got rid of a two-tier worker classification the union had long railed against, and included other benefits long in demand.
  • “Workers will hear about this and it’s likely to elevate their expectations somewhat,” says Harry Katz, a professor at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

Zoom out: The deal comes amidst a summer of labor turmoil in the U.S., with 170,000 actors and writers already on strike; negotiations on the rocks for 6,000 FedEx pilots; and the auto unions about to head into talks for a new contract that many expect will end in a strike of about 150,000 more workers.

  • Unions have more leverage to bargain than they’ve seen in years, as Americans’ approval of labor is at a record high — and strong demand for workers is keeping the labor market tight.
  • The low unemployment rate worked in the Teamsters’ favor. “There just aren’t a lot of workers sitting on the sidelines right now,” says Sharon Block, the executive director of the Center for Labor and a Just Economy at Harvard Law School.

Read the complete story here.

By Editor