One of the biggest strikes in US history is brewing at UPS

The fledgling labour movements at large firms like Starbucks and Amazon have attracted national attention over the past year. But a high-stakes conflict between one of America's oldest unions and the biggest package courier in the world is less well known.

The fledgling labour movements at large firms like Starbucks and Amazon have attracted national attention over the past year. But a high-stakes conflict between one of America's oldest unions and the biggest package courier in the world is less well known.

If that occurs, a UPS strike would touch almost every home in the nation. UPS trucks transport 6% of the country's annual gross domestic product, according to estimates. The corporation and its drivers are now more essential than ever to the nation's troubled supply chain due to the exponential expansion of internet retail. A large number of the items found in shops, factories, and offices are also delivered by the business in addition to home delivery.

Out of the 534,000 permanent workers worldwide, about 350,000 Teamsters work for UPS as drivers and package sorters. And that's expanding quickly; the business has added about 72,000 Teamster-represented positions since the outbreak began.

There are undoubtedly indications of tension in the relationship between the union's leadership and rank-and-file members as well as the firm.

Anger over current contract

The current contract was rejected by the majority of members in 2018, but the former Teamster leadership, led by the then-President James Hoffa, still implemented it because not enough members participated in the ratification ballot to spark a walkout.

The business frequently expresses its appreciation for its Teamster-represented staff.

Record profits at UPS

Despite the apparent difficulties, UPS is one of labor's biggest friends among US corporate management in one crucial regard: employment numbers. One of the few unionised companies with growing payrolls and union membership is UPS.

Teamsters employment at UPS has increased as a result of the consistent rise in internet sales, particularly during the pandemic-era boom. It only took nine months last year to declare what was already a record profit for the entire year. Operating income for UPS increased by 50% to $13.1 billion by year's end.

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