UPS is finishing construction on its new SMART Hub facility on the west side of Atlanta. Jenna Eason / Jenna.Eason@coxinc.com

Weekend deliveries, new technology addressed in UPS-Teamsters deal

A proposed new labor contract between UPS and the Teamsters union creates a category of drivers to handle weekend shifts, as the surge in online shopping prompts increased demand for deliveries.

The deal also calls for the company to review technological changes — such as the deployment of delivery drones or driverless vehicles — with the union six months before they roll out, according to a document on the deal released by the Teamsters on Tuesday.

The tentative deal reached last month on massive collective bargaining agreements covers roughly 260,000 workers at UPS, including drivers, package sorters and loaders, operations and dock workers, and is subject to approval by UPS local unions.

The current contracts run through July 31. But the union agreed to a contract extension to allow time for local unions to review the proposed contract and supplemental agreements negotiated.

If the deal is ratified after this month, the agreed upon pay increases would take effect retroactive to Aug. 1.

Denis Taylor, co-chairman of the Teamsters negotiating committee, said in a written statement that the deal provides “tremendous gains in wages, benefits and working conditions for years to come.”

The deal would “reward the company’s employees…. while enabling the business to remain flexible,” according to a written statement from UPS.

The company’s part-time workers would start at $13 an hour under the new agreement, up from $10 an hour currently, according to the Teamsters.

Also 5,000 new full-time jobs would be created over the five-year term of the agreement.

To prevent regular drivers from having to work weekend shifts, a category of drivers would work Tuesday-Saturday or Wednesday-Sunday.

UPS recently added Saturday pickups and deliveries, since people tend to do a lot of online shopping over the weekend and the orders can pile up by Monday. The company has not expanded such deliveries to Sunday, but the union deal allow the company to do so in the future.

The weekend drivers would make up, at most, 25 percent of the total work force of regular drivers.

In June before the deal was reached, the union announced its vote to authorize a strike if necessary, a negotiating tactic to ratchet up pressure during negotiations.

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