UPS Pilots Vote To Authorize Strike
UPS pilots voted 2,252 to 8 to authorize a strike against United Parcel Service. Around 97 percent of union members participated in the vote.
The vote does not mean the pilots are walking off the job. Rather, the five-pilot IPA Executive Board now has the authority to formally request a release from federally mediated negotiations with UPS, and the discretion to conduct a strike once mediation is concluded.
“UPS promises its customers on-time delivery, but after four years of labor negotiations, the company has failed to deliver a contract for its own pilots,” said IPA President Captain Robert Travis. “In a clear voice, UPS pilots have said they are willing to strike if necessary to finish the job.”
International Brotherhood of Teamsters General President James Hoffa pledged the support of 250,000 UPS Teamster co-workers should the UPS pilots strike. In a letter to the pilots, Hoffa wrote, “if a strike is necessary, we will not cross your lines, but will stand with you on them.”
Travis said his group welcomes the Teamster’s support. “The employees of UPS make our company strong and productive,” he said. “Management is playing a risky game using stall and delay tactics against its own people.”
UPS archrival FedEx ratified a six-year contract with its pilots earlier this week. “Given that the pilots are the only major employee group at FedEx covered by a collective bargaining agreement, this deal brings labor peace to our main competitor,” said Captain Travis.
UPS and IPA are scheduled to return to the bargaining table in early November with the federal mediator retaining the right to cancel scheduled sessions.
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