UAW's Detroit Deadlock Vs. Teamsters' UPS Triumph: Behind 2 Major Labor Showdowns

Zinger Key Points
  • By 2028, UPS full-timers to average $49/hr; UAW seeks a 46% wage hike by end of contract.
  • Biden weighs in, suggesting profits by automakers should be fairly shared with the workforce.

The landscape of labor negotiations in the U.S. shifted this summer with two major union agreements coming into focus. The Teamsters' contract with United Parcel Service, Inc UPS and the ongoing demands of the United Auto Workers (UAW) with Detroit's Big Three automakers provide a window into the dynamics of union negotiations.

The Teamsters' Triumph With UPS: In August, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters secured a contract with UPS, mitigating a potential strike that could have derailed U.S. supply chains and added substantial shipping costs.

The five-year contract, ratified by over 86% of Teamster-represented employees, is valued at approximately $30 billion (UPS said recently it's less than $30 billion). The deal was hailed by Teamsters General President Sean O’Brien as the "most lucrative" the union has ever finalized with UPS.

Under The UPS Agreement:

  • Wages for UPS Teamsters will increase by $2.75 per hour in 2023 and by a cumulative $7.50 per hour over the next four years.
  • By 2028, full-time workers will average $49 per hour, while part-timers will start at $21 per hour.
  • Additional provisions include safety measures like air conditioning in UPS delivery vehicles and a clause eliminating forced overtime on days off.

By the agreement's end in August 2028, a full-time UPS driver's compensation, including benefits, will approach $170,000 annually, with part-time union employees earning $25.75 per hour, complemented by full healthcare and pension benefits.

UAW's Stance Against The Big Three: Meanwhile, the UAW is in the throes of a historic strike against Detroit's major automakers, targeting Ford Motor Company GM, General Motors Co GM, and Stellantis NV STLA.
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Current statistics from Ford’s website indicate:

  • UAW represents 57,000 hourly workers, and 80% received a raise on Labor Day.
  • Workers with the raise now earn $32 an hour — at 40 hours a week, that's $1,280. And for a 50-hour week (considering overtime), it's $1,760.

The UAW is pushing for a 46% pay increase by the end of their contract. That would translate to weekly wages of $1,868.80 (40hrs) and $2,569.60 (50hrs).

Annually, it would be $97,177.60 (40hrs) and $133,619.20 (50hrs).

President Joe Biden on Friday remarked about the role of autoworkers in the country's economy, suggesting the record profits seen by automakers should be equitably shared with the workforce.

Comparative Insights: The Teamsters' deal with UPS appears more financially favorable for its members, especially when one considers the comprehensive benefits, including health and pension, which are part of the package.

The UAW's current wage proposal, although substantial, primarily focuses on salary figures.

However, the broader compensation package, including potential benefits, is also a pivotal aspect of their negotiations.
Read Next: 10 Big 3 Auto Suppliers To Watch With UAW On Strike

Photo: Shutterstock

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Posted In: Large CapMid CapNewsTopicsGeneralJoe BidenstrikeTeamstersUAWUnionUnited Auto Workers
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