UPS specialists and administrative workers at the Louisville Centennial Hub have ratified an agreement that brings them under the national UPS contract and paves the way for more than 5,000 nonunion admins and specialists nationwide to also become Teamsters.

Image: Teamsters Local 89

Yesterday’s unanimous vote culminates a months-long battle with the company that included illegal firings and a peak season strike notice by the Teamsters.

This is a major victory that goes way beyond the new Teamsters in Louisville. More than 5,000 additional nonunion workers at UPS can also become Teamsters and win the same contract gains, including:

  • Wage Increases of $7.50, including an immediate $2.75 raise and the same annual raises each August 1 that were negotiated in the UPS national contract. 
  • Healthcare: An end to co-pays on their healthcare premiums. For the rest of this year, UPS will cover 100 percent of the cost of employee’s company healthcare plan. Next year, specialists and admins who join the union will be covered by TeamCare. 
  • Retirement: Specialists and admins who join the Teamsters will receive pension benefits under the applicable Fund based on their region and local union.
  • Seniority Rights: A seniority list will be created to end favoritism and to guarantee seniority rights in job bids.

A Path to Organizing

The new agreement negotiated by the International Union creates a path to union membership for more than 5,000 additional UPS specialists and admins across the country.

When the majority in any given local sign a union card, then all of the admins and specialists in that local’s jurisdiction will become Teamsters. 

UPS wanted no part of admins and specialists joining the Teamsters. The company employed union-busters and mass layoffs in retaliation for organizing. A strike notice won workers their jobs back and ultimately secured the contract gains and organizing agreement. 

Challenges remain. UPS is trying to change the job titles of some specialists to try to disqualify them from being eligible to join the union. 

More Bargaining Power

Specialists and Admins work a variety of jobs at UPS to keep operations moving. Some of the most common jobs are Dispatchers, and Operations Specialists who assist the flow of packages through the belts and yards.

Specialists are especially important to keep advanced sorting and AI technology running at automated hubs, where UPS is shifting more of their volume. 

“Specialists are the grease that keep the automated systems running,” said Pete Hinton, a Flow Control Specialist who participated in the LCH organizing drive and served as a rank-and-file member on the bargaining committee for the Addendum.  

Having specialists in our union means we will all have more bargaining leverage as a union in 2028.