The biggest labor strike in the United States in decades could be on the horizon if necessary for The Teamsters and United Parcel Services. On Tuesday, the union announced that more than 90% of its members voted in favor of going on strike. This could mean trouble for the economic system as well, as the UPS transports an estimated 6% of the nation's gross domestic product, which means any labor issue could disrupt the US economy.

One of the main factors in strike talks are the wages that some workers will be making. UPS has danced with the idea of offering 7-day delivery, expanding their service to Sundays. A proposal was made to create a 2-tier wage system where part-time workers who earn roughly $15 hourly, would be promoted to a full time position to make this possible, but without a pay increase. The current average full-time UPS employee earns around $36 an hour, or roughly $75,000 a year. The Teamsters' indifference with this proposal makes avoiding strike much more difficult.

UPS Teamsters United, pointed out the fact that the delivery company, which posted a $5 billion profit in 2017, should be able to pay new full time workers the same as existing workers. According to WDIV, the last time UPS had a strike, it lasted 16 days and was caused by a walkout from the Teamsters in 1997. There hasn't since been a bigger strike. This one could be larger since there were only 180,000 Teamsters at UPS at that time, whereas currently there are 260,000.

If this goes through we may not be able to get UPS deliveries here in Michigan until an agreement would be made. Let's hope it doesn't come down to a strike.


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