The union representing the nation’s largest private delivery company voted to authorize a nationwide strike this summer, preparing President Joe Biden for another showdown with big workers.

On Friday, The Teamsters, a union representing 340,000 UPS employees, cast 97 percent of the vote to allow its members across the country to go on strike as soon as Aug. 1 if a commitment is not met. agreement on a new contract, which could put a significant portion of the US private shipping sector at risk in the height of the summer months, a press release said.

According to industry statistics, UPS accounted for the largest share of the US market in 2021, delivering approximately 37 percent of all packages nationwide. It also reported record earnings and share prices in 2022, buoyed by increased deliveries during the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, UPS has seen recent success as private retailers like Amazon have tried to run their logistics operations in-house, causing the retail giant’s company revenue to fall from 13.3 percent in 2020 to 11.3 percent. percent in 2022, according to a UPS securities filing. .

A UPS driver pulls a cart with packages while making deliveries on June 12, 2023 in San Francisco, California. More than 330,000 unionized UPS workers are voting to authorize a strike against UPS. The Teamsters union is seeking higher wages and benefits, as well as improvements in working conditions that include upgrading 95,000 delivery trucks to air conditioning. If workers vote to strike, it would be the largest single employer strike in US history.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

However, company employees they claim they have been blocked in his search for a new contract since negotiations began in late April, pushing for a new five-year agreement that guarantees “higher wages for all workers, more full-time jobs, an end to forced overtime and bullying from management, eliminating the two-tiered salary system” and retrofitting many of its delivery trucks with air conditioning, which many vehicles lack.

“This strike authorization vote sends a clear message to UPS that our members are doomed and determined to take whatever steps are necessary to secure a historic contract that honors their dedication and sacrifice,” said Teamsters General Secretary and Treasurer Fred Zuckerman, in a statement announcing the vote. “Our members are the backbone of UPS, and they are the reason this corporation did more than $100 billion in revenue last year. It’s time for UPS to pay up.”

If it comes down to a strike, the collapse of UPS—and presumably, the 37 percent market share it controls—could present significant disruption to the US delivery system, potentially triggering government intervention. similar to Biden’s efforts to broker a deal between unions and major rail companies amid their impasse over a new contract last year.

While many anticipated the strike would have detrimental impacts on goods prices across the country, numerous labor groups criticized the federal government for intervening in negotiations, accusing Biden, who has vowed to be the most pro-union president in the history, and Congress to compel. railway workers to accept a deal they did not fully support.

news week has reached out to the Biden White House by email for comment.

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