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After Halted Shipments, UPS Settles Labor Contract Ahead of Holiday

At least one logistics headache for business-to-business shippers has been averted just in time for the holidays. After temporarily halting some shipments in the face of a potential strike, UPS Freight and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters announced the union has ratified its labor contract with UPS.

“It is an agreement that rewards our employees for their contributions to the success of the company, while enabling UPS to remain competitive,” UPS Inc. said Monday. “We will resume normal operations and will immediately begin accepting new volume from UPS Freight customers.”

UPS said the contract includes wages and benefits “at the top of the industry.” The company said it began contacting customers immediately after ratification.

“Workers at UPS Freight represented by the Teamsters union have ratified a new five-year agreement that was the company’s last, best and final offer, averting a national strike,” the Teamsters posted on its website on Sunday. “Members approved the contract by a 77 percent to 23 percent margin at local union meetings held from Nov. 7 until today. The agreement covers approximately 11,600 workers at the company.”

Earlier this month, UPS Freight said it would not accept freight shipments scheduled to arrive after Nov. 8, warning its freight customers of a potential strike. UPS said since the company didn’t have a guarantee against a work stoppage, it did not want to put customers’ volume at risk of “being stranded in our system.”

The UPS Small Package National Master Agreement and UPS Freight Master Agreement have now been ratified. “Customers can remain confident UPS is ready to continue to serve its small package and UPS Freight customers throughout the holiday season and beyond,” the company said.

In the third quarter ended Sept. 30, UPS Freight revenue increased 11 percent on higher pricing and heavier shipments. The Supply Chain and Freight unit posted a 12 percent gain in revenue, to $3.5 billion.