Teamsters and UPS Reach a Deal

Good news for the economy.

Via the NYT: UPS Reaches Tentative Deal With Teamsters to Head Off Strike.

The company said it could not comment on the dollar value of the deal ahead of its second-quarter earnings call in early August.

The Teamsters said that under the tentative agreement, current full- and part-time UPS employees represented by the union would receive a $2.75-an-hour raise this year, and $7.50 an hour in raises over the course of the contract.

The minimum pay for part-timers will rise to $21 an hour — far above the current minimum starting pay of $16.20 — and the top rate for full-time delivery drivers will rise to $49 an hour. Full-time drivers currently make $42 an hour on average after four years.

The company has also pledged to create 7,500 new full-time union jobs and to fill 22,500 open positions, for which part-time workers will be eligible. The company has said that part-time workers are essential to navigating bursts of activity over the course of a day and during busy months, and that many part-timers graduate to full-time jobs.

This is good news for the general economy, given that a strike affecting roughly 25% of all shipping would have definitely had economic effects.

There are additional elements of the agreement detailed in the NYT piece, including the following that is especially relevant, given recent weather patterns:

The two sides also agreed on several key noneconomic issues, such as heat safety. Under the proposed deal, new trucks must have air-conditioning beginning in January, while existing trucks will be outfitted with additional fans and venting.

More from the Teamsters, who seem pretty pleased.

FILED UNDER: Economics and Business, US Politics,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Kathy says:

    It’s easy to make jokes about Amazon packages and frivolous purchases, but this is a big deal. It’s also a good and clear example of why having a union is of great, clear, benefit to the workers they represent.

    Inevitably one’s thoughts turn to the ongoing writers and actors strikes. I came across a line the other day to the effect that the problem this time is largely tech companies, and studios acting like tech companies. But that this time the tech disruption steam roller is up against large, strong unions.

    We’ll see.

  2. steve says:

    I wonder if UPS drivers are allowed to have water when driving in Texas?


  3. DrDaveT says:


    It’s also a good and clear example of why having a union is of great, clear, benefit to the workers they represent.

    Completely agree, but the subtler point is that having functional unions is also of great, clear benefit to America. The working class can’t earn a living wage without unionization, and a living wage for the working class powers the economy. Even Andrew @#$%ing Carnegie knew the latter part.

  4. Tony W says:

    @DrDaveT: In the long run, of course, you are correct. When working people have money to spend – they spend it.

    When wealthy people get that money, they put it on the pile, doing little good for the economy.

    That said, this is a capitalist world where this quarter’s earnings are the entire focus. We’ll worry about next quarter – next quarter. In my Fortune 50 company over the course of my career, I saw many, many instances where the long term was sacrificed for a slight bump this quarter – largely because that bump meant a big performance bonus for senior leadership.

    I’m not sure what we should do to get the world to pay more attention to the longer term.