UPS Teamsters won a game-changing victory this week when the National Negotiating Committee reached a tentative agreement making UPS deliver air conditioning and other equipment to protect members who work in extreme heat.
Working Teamsters and our union have been making the company feel the heat by mounting the first credible strike threat at UPS in 25 years – and it is paying off.
The latest win in contract negotiations is a tentative agreement securing air conditioning, more fans, air-induction vents in cargo holds, and new heat shields.
Under the tentative agreement:
- Two fans will be installed in the cab of all package cars
- UPS must install in-cab air conditioning in package cars, larger delivery vehicles, and smaller sprinter vans. During the life of the contract, UPS must install air conditioning in approximately one-third of its fleet.
- New existing and newly purchased package cars going forward will be retrofitted or equipped with air induction vents in the cargo compartments to alleviate extreme temperatures in the back of the vehicles.
- All newer non-electric UPS package cars and vans will be installed with exhaust heat shields, further protecting Teamsters from dangerous heat.
“Air conditioning is coming to UPS, and Teamster members in these vehicles will get the relief and protection they’ve been fighting for,” said General President Sean O’Brien.
Lessons from this Victory
A generation of brownouts and givebacks under Hoffa have left some Teamsters skeptical, even cynical. It's understandable. But cynicism doesn't win change. Organizing does.
"After too many Teamsters fell ill while working during the extreme heat, some losing their lives like our brother Esteban Chavez, we stood up to UPS for a change," said Antoine Andrews, a Local 804 member who helped his local organize a "Safety Not Surveillance" campaign for heat protections. "We stood together, rallied for this cause nationwide, and won together."
We didn't give up anything to win this victory. We have increased our bargaining leverage by mounting a contract campaign and credible strike threat. That's the formula for closing the concession stand and winning contract gains—and we are seeing it play out in real time.
The Fight Continues
The National Negotiating Committee is continuing to work on health and safety protections for inside workers.
Click here to download a Teamster Heat, Hydration, & Harassment Violation Form to report problems with ice, access to water, harassment for taking breaks to cool off, hydrate or use the bathroom, and other issues.
Contact TDU at 313-842-2600 to get materials and build the “Make UPS Feel the Heat” campaign.