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Teamsters collect Unity Pledges ahead of contract negotiations

By Gage Lacharite

Teamsters sign Unity Pledge.

Tampa, FL – On Monday, February 20, thousands of Teamsters gathered outside of UPS facilities across the country to sign cards pledging unity ahead of contract negotiations between the Teamsters and UPS. The Contract Unity Pledge Drive is being rolled out in order to rally UPS employees to demands in the negotiations such as ending the second-tier 22.4 driver classification and higher wages for part-timers.

“It's about sending a message to the company that we're ready for a fight. We won't accept second-tier drivers, excessive overtime and unsafe working conditions. Our ability to strike UPS is built on our unity as Teamsters,” said Eliza Schultz, Teamsters Local 705 member and 22.4 driver from Chicago, Illinois.

“Part-timers need a livable wage. $16.65 is not enough. I’ve had to live in a trailer full of mold while working six and seven days a week to make ends meet. We break our backs for this company and it’s time for them to pay up,” said Nico Hernandez, Teamsters Local 512 member and part-time warehouse worker from Jacksonville, Florida.

The 2018 UPS contract was characterized by historic concessions, including the introduction of second-tier driver classifications. Teamsters President Sean O’Brien, who was elected in the wake of that bad contract, has promised to strike if workers’ demands are not met by contract expiration on July 31. The UPS-Teamsters contract negotiations begin in April, and the contract expires July 31.

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