UPS mechanics union takes out ads to turn up heat in contract talks

4:16 p.m Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017 Business
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NEW YORK - DECEMBER 23: A delivery truck makes its way out of the 43rd Street United Parcel Service (UPS) depot December 23, 2003 in New York City. UPS, which averages about 13 million packages per day during the holiday season, will ship more than 300 million packages this holiday season.

The Teamsters union representing UPS aircraft mechanics is taking out ads amid heated labor contract talks with management.

The national advertising campaign running in the Seattle Times and editions of USA Today in Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and other areas, as well as on Facebook and Instagram, says: “What every American should know before they ship with UPS during the holidays: UPS wants to make deep cuts to its aircraft mechanics’ health care benefits.”

The ad also notes that union members have voted to authorize a strike — however, they cannot legally strike at this point because they have not gotten clearance from the National Mediation Board to do so.

UPS management said in response that the ads are “designed to pressure our ongoing labor contract negotiations.” The company said its aircraft mechanics “enjoy one of the most attractive compensation packages in commercial aviation,” with total compensation including wages, pension, 401(k) and benefits amounting to more than $140,000.

“UPS has every reason to believe these negotiations will result in a win-win contract,” the company said.

But the contract negotiations have been going on for more than three years, and Teamsters Local 2727 President Tim Boyle said the two sides are at an impasse. He said the company’s proposal would increase retirees’ health care coststo nearly $20,000 a year.

“We’ve tried to work with the company,” Boyle said. “We’re hoping if it gets to the public, hopefully maybe it’ll put some pressure on the company to come back to the table and negotiate fairly.”

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