The International Brotherhood of Teamsters has made it clear that they do not want President Joe Biden or his administration to interfere in ongoing talks with UPS workers or in the event of a strike. Richard Hooker, the secretary-treasurer and principal officer of Teamsters Local 623 in Philadelphia, echoed this sentiment, expressing hopes that the president would refrain from getting involved.
“The international [organization] has reached out to the Biden administration and urged them not to get involved in this UPS struggle,” Hooker stated during an interview on Newsmax’s “Wake Up America.” He recalled the previous railroad strike, which was averted by Biden’s actions last winter, and expressed concerns about a similar intervention impacting UPS workers. Hooker emphasized that such involvement could potentially harm the workers’ interests and their negotiations.
Biden, known for his strong support for unions, had previously opposed Congress intervening in railway labor disputes, citing interference with union bargaining efforts. However, he made an exception in the case of railroads, citing the potential disruption of supply chains and holiday deliveries.
Recently, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, leading a coalition of over 250 organizations, sent a letter to Biden requesting his intervention in a potential UPS strike. They warned that a work stoppage would have devastating effects on American families and the economy.
Hooker highlighted two major issues being discussed during negotiations with UPS: wages for part-time workers and the treatment of workers. Part-time employees make up a significant portion of UPS’s workforce, and Hooker stressed the importance of fair wages for these essential workers. He also mentioned concerns about the treatment of drivers, such as the removal of air conditioning from vehicles to make working conditions less comfortable.
The current labor agreement between UPS and the Teamsters is set to end on July 31. Hooker asserted that the Teamsters have been open to negotiation and cooperation, but it ultimately depends on the company whether a new contract will be signed.
If the Teamsters decide to go on strike, Hooker warned that it would result in a shutdown of UPS deliveries, given that the company moves a substantial portion of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). He emphasized that numerous businesses rely on UPS to ship and deliver goods to their customers, and if a strike occurs, packages will remain stagnant in warehouses, causing significant disruptions in the supply chain.
The situation remains tense as both parties continue to negotiate, and the outcome will have wide-ranging implications for UPS, its workers, and the nation’s economy.