UPS workers hold practice picket in Minneapolis
United Parcel Service (UPS) workers across the country including dozens in Minneapolis showed up to a practice picket Saturday morning demanding a better contract deal from UPS.
The Teamsters Union represents more than 340,000 full and part-time UPS workers. The UPS Teamsters contract is set to expire on July 31. Workers are demanding in part, better pay, an increase in full-time jobs, and improvements in safety and health concerns. Following several negotiations, the union says UPS is refusing to give them the best offer.
“During the pandemic, the height of the pandemic for two years straight, you’re working six days a week, up to 60-hour weeks and working holidays. We put our safety and the safety of our families on the line for this and they made record profits off of our sacrifice. Asking for them to take care of us after we’ve taken care of them is not asking too much,” said Rikki Schreiner, a local UPS employee.
In a statement, UPS claims they have offered strong proposals with “industry-leading pay and benefits.” They say the union walked away from the negotiation table with just three weeks remaining until the current contract expires. UPS writes that refusing to negotiate “creates significant unease among employees and customers and threatens to disrupt the US economy.”
The two sides have made some progress since negotiations started earlier this year, including an agreement to equip new delivery trucks with air conditioners. So far, there are no additional negotiations scheduled.