UPS and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters extended their existing contract and supplements as they prepare for talks over several supplements rejected by union members.
The extension, which has no time limit, should lift concern about potential disruption or a strike at UPS — the largest transportation company in the U.S. and the largest Teamsters employer.
The current national contract, negotiated in 2008, expires July 31. Either party can terminate the contract extension with 30 day’s notice, according to statements issued by UPS and the Teamsters.
Teamsters employees at UPS approved a new national package contract covering 235,000 Teamsters that runs through 2018 last week, but rejected 18 regional supplements and riders to the contract.
Those regional pacts must be renegotiated and ratified in a second round of voting before the national contract takes effect. When that occurs, the contract will be retroactive to Aug. 1.
The contract extension provides much needed breathing room for both sides. Many of the supplements were voted down by wide margins, indicating tough talks ahead.
UPS also agreed not to implement increases in retiree health insurance contributions Aug. 1 that the company had broached in letters sent to retirees last December.
The extension does not cover the separate UPS Freight contract, which also expires July 31, according to UPS.
Teamsters at UPS Freight, the fourth-largest less-than-truckload carrier in the U.S., rejected a proposed national master contract in a 4,244 to 1,897 vote.