US labor secretary sees no need now to step into UPS-Teamsters talks

us-labor-secretary-sees-no-need-now-to-step-into-ups-teamsters-talks
US labor secretary sees no need now to step into UPS-Teamsters talks

Acting U.S. Labor Secretary Julie Su stated on Friday that she does not believe it is necessary for her to intervene in the contract negotiations between the Teamsters Union and United Parcel Service (UPS.N) at this time. Su emphasized that she expects the parties involved to respect the bargaining process. The Teamsters claimed on Wednesday that UPS had “walked away” from the negotiations, but UPS denied this and accused the union of halting the negotiations. The White House spokesperson, Karine Jean-Pierre, confirmed on Friday that President Joe Biden’s administration is in contact with both sides and remains optimistic that an agreement will be reached. Jean-Pierre stated that she does not have any information regarding increased administration involvement but assured that they are maintaining communication with both parties. As the expiration of the current contract, which covers approximately 340,000 workers, approaches at the end of July, both sides have been exchanging statements in an effort to avoid a strike. In the event that talks break down, UPS workers have already authorized a strike, which would be their first since 1997. This previous strike lasted for 15 days, cost the company $850 million, and led some customers to seek services from competitors. Both the union and company officials have expressed their desire to reach a deal in order to prevent a strike that could jeopardize millions of daily deliveries. Unions, who missed out on wage increases during the pandemic, are now actively seeking higher pay and improved working conditions, challenging contract offers from companies that are grappling with labor shortages. Su recently played a key role in negotiating a significant contract agreement between U.S. West Coast seaport employers and a union representing 22,000 workers.

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