Skip to content

UPS workers could go on strike July 31. Here's what you need to know.

Concerns about a strike that may make it more difficult for shippers to deliver packages to their destinations are growing as contract discussions between United Parcel Service and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters union come to a deadlock.

The possibility of hundreds of thousands of UPS employees quitting their jobs when their contract expires on July 31 looms large in an economy that is more dependent on such deliveries than ever before. What you need to know is as follows:

Would it really matter that much?
Approximately 340,000 UPS delivery drivers and warehouse employees are represented by the Teamsters union. If they strike, it may be one of the biggest in American history and disrupt the logistics systems that allow tens of millions of items to reach your house and other locations every day.

ONLY 25 for Unlimited Digital Access; EXTENDED SALE ENDS SOON.
According to Pitney Bowes Inc., a multinational shipping and mailing corporation, UPS is one of the biggest U.S. shipping providers, handling nearly one-fourth of all packages sent daily and sending 5.2 billion parcels worldwide in 2017. Therefore, a strike might have a significant impact on the economy and supply chain.

I won't be able to receive my stuff, then.
If UPS employees go on strike, shippers looking for alternatives may experience delivery delays and higher expenses. The effects could be comparable to the pandemic's supply chain disruptions.

Given that the contract has not yet expired, UPS declined to comment on how a strike may effect consumers in the San Antonio region, referring to the inquiry as "premature". However, already. Across the country, UPS employees have been staging "practice pickets," with signs that read, "Just practicing for a just contract."

What caused this?
The existing contract between the union and UPS expires on July 31. Among other things, it is advocating for better compensation, more full-time work, heat protection, the elimination of the dual-wage system for delivery drivers, and mandatory overtime.

Since talks started in April, the two parties have made progress. That, however, came to an end last week when the Teamsters said they turned down "an unacceptable offer" from UPS and each side blamed the other of leaving.

The Teamsters decided last month to authorize a strike if the union and UPS are unable to reach an agreement by the end of this month.

How many UPS workers in San Antonio could walk out at once?
Around 2,500 of UPS's 500,000 employees work in the San Antonio region. According to the union, the Teamsters represent about 1,300 of these local employees.

Other carriers can't take over.
FedEx Corp. urged shippers who were considering transferring their cargo to the business to register a new account and start shipping in the case of a strike by stating that it is "protecting capacity and service" for customers.

This week, the U.S. Postal Service launched what it refers to as Ground Advantage, a shipping choice that provides a "simple, reliable, and more affordable way" to send items across the country in two to five business days. Additionally, it offers free package pickup from home or the office, and companies can utilize it to return goods.

Instead than relying on UPS and other carriers, Amazon has been developing its own logistics network. According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the percentage of UPS's consolidated revenues associated with Amazon decreased from 13.3 percent in 2020 to 11.3 percent in 2022.

When was the latest UPS Teamsters strike?
The last time UPS Teamsters went on strike was in 1997, when 185,000 workers went on a 15-day strike before reaching a tentative agreement. According to the New York Times, it "largely crippled" UPS and "created myriad inconveniences, large and small, for companies and consumers across the nation."


Daniel Jack

For Daniel, journalism is a way of life. He lives and breathes art and anything even remotely related to it. Politics, Cinema, books, music, fashion are a part of his lifestyle.