The Teamsters Union announced Tuesday that United Parcel Service workers voted to approve the contract agreement reached last month between the union and UPS, ending months of heated debate and strike threats.
In a statement, the union announced that 86% of voters accepted the contract.
“Our members just ratified the most lucrative agreement the Teamsters have ever negotiated at UPS,” Teamsters General President Sean O’Brien said in a statement. “This contract will improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of workers.”
Voting for the contract began Aug. 3, two days after the agreement was reached, and ended Tuesday.
According to the union, 40 supplemental agreements were also ratified. The only holdout is one supplemental agreement in Florida that affects around 170 members. Once the Florida agreement has been finalized and ratified, the master contract will go into effect.
The ratification of the contract ends months of bitter negotiations between the union and UPS. When negotiations broke down between the two in July, many expected the 340,000 Teamsters UPS drivers to walk off the job once their contract expired on Aug. 1.
A UPS strike would have jarred parcel delivery and the supply chain generally. Some businesses began decreasing their deliveries from the company in the weeks preceding the contract deadline.
However, the two reached a tentative deal Aug. 1 that included many of the concessions the Teamsters demanded. The agreement includes a $2.75 per hour raise for 2023 and $7.50 more in total by the end of the five-year contract. Part-time employees also got a raise of $21, closing a significant gap between part- and full-time workers. According to the company, the average UPS driver will make $170,000 in pay and benefits annually by the end of the contract.
The company also agreed to changes in safety by including air conditioning in more delivery trucks and removing driver-facing cameras.
The overwhelming support for the contract, and the concessions made in it, will likely have a significant impact on labor battles across the country. As the two major Hollywood labor unions continue to crowd the picket lines, the United Auto Workers union is preparing to strike ahead of its Sept. 14 contract deadline. The labor groups look to the UPS/Teamsters contract as evidence that concessions could be won.