UPS, Pilots Seek Mediation

UPS, Pilots Seek Mediation

Copyright 2004, Traffic World, Inc.

UPS and its pilots are asking the help of the National Mediation Board to move their labor negotiations forward. Service is not expected to be interrupted because the contract under which the 2,500 pilots for the Louisville, Ky.-based airline fly does not expire until another contract is in place.

Talks between UPS and the Independent Pilots Association began in October 2002 and remain stalled over most of the key negotiating points. Items still on the table include scheduling, compensation, pension, scope and benefits.

Both sides had earlier set July 1 as the date on which they would call in a federal mediator to help. The company and its pilots reached the past two agreements in 1991 and 1998 once the board was called in to assist.

"At this time, the parties believe the next logical step in reaching an agreement is to jointly request the mediation services of the National Mediation Board," UPS and the IPA said in a joint statement.

Chief competitor FedEx is also in the midst of labor negotiations with its pilots. Those talks began this spring under a contract that, like UPS''s, does not expire until a new one is in place. The Air Line Pilots Association represents FedEx pilots. Both sides in the FedEx talks are hoping for smoother going than the contentious talks that preceded the 1998 agreement, which established the first labor agreement for the company''s pilots.