Teamsters and UPS Set Tentative Deal for 31 Percent Raise During Next Five Years

Teamsters 2727, the UPS aircraft mechanics union, say they have secured a tentative new contract. The union says the deal will result in the country’s best pay and benefits for aviation mechanics.

“One thousand three hundred UPS aircraft mechanics and related employees represented by Teamsters Local 2727 have secured significant raises in pay, improved retirement security and the protection of health care benefits in a new tentative agreement reached with the shipping company,” the announcement asserts.

The tentative agreement, which will be voted on in the coming weeks by the union’s membership sets pay rates and benefits that surpass those at FedEx and all other major U.S.-based carriers, they stress. Upon ratification of the new contract, Local 2727 members will become the highest paid aviation mechanics in the country.

“It’s because of the tremendous resolve and unity of our members and their families that we’re celebrating this historic agreement with UPS,” said Tim Boyle, president of Louisville-based Teamsters Local 2727. “We knew if we stuck together and stayed committed to protecting the pay and benefits we’ve earned over decades of hard work, we’d do what many thought was impossible and win big for our families, the future of our company and our customers. This contract does just that along with raising standards throughout the aviation industry.”

Highlights of the new tentative agreement include:

  • An immediate 16 percent pay increase for all mechanics and related employees;
  • Three percent raises each year, resulting in a 30.7 percent increase in pay from current rates by the end of the contract;
  • Retroactive pay for all hours worked from November 1, 2013 (the day the current contract first became amendable) to the date of ratification;
  • Protection of an unparalleled health care package with no premiums; and
  • An increase in UPS’s pension contributions.

“I want to extend my congratulations to the Teamsters Local 2727 negotiating committee. This agreement is the culmination of over four years of long hours, hard work and dedication from them. Their focus on improving the existing agreement and quality of life for our UPS members is what now enables us to bring this industry-leading contract to the membership for their review and decision,” said Capt. David Bourne, director of the Teamsters Airline Division.

“UPS aircraft mechanics went for years without a raise and we’ve worried long enough about the future of our medical care,” said aircraft mechanic Jack Chatburn who was on the bargaining committee. “We are eager to share the details of this top-notch agreement with our members and our families who will now have the top-notch pay and health benefits we’ve been fighting for. We believe the contract will be ratified swiftly.” Members will vote whether to ratify the agreement in a secret ballot referendum that will be conducted in September.

UPS said in a statement that “we believe the proposed contract meets the needs of our employees and the business by rewarding employees with industry-leading pay and benefits, while also providing enhanced flexibility, positioning UPS to meet customer needs, and addressing competitor challenges.”

Teamsters Local 2727 have alleged UPS was foot-dragging for the last two years over a new agreement. They picketed at Amazon warehouse sites in the region and also protested outside of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s Louisville home. The mechanics get about $50 per hour now. The group cited Trump administration pledges that workers would benefit by getting better pay and benefits as a result of corporate tax cuts approved last December by Congress. UPS said they saved tens of million of dollars from reduced tax rates.

After the last agreement expired in late 2013, employees continued working under the terms of the last agreement, a common practice.