The president of the Teamsters stated on Sunday that he has requested that the White House not step in if UPS employees decide to strike.
A new contract deadline of July 31 has been rapidly approaching, but talks between the delivery firm and the union that represents 340,000 of its employees have been at a standstill for more than a week.
If a compromise is not reached before the collective bargaining agreement expires, the union has vowed to go on strike.
In response to a question about whether the White House could compel the union to sign a contract, Teamsters President Sean O’Brien said he has repeatedly begged the White House to refrain.
In the Boston area, where O’Brien grew up, if two people disagreed and you had nothing to do with it, you just kept walking.
He declared, “We don’t need anyone getting involved in this war. The largest private-sector contract in North America includes more than half of the staff of the Atlanta-based corporation represented by Teamsters.
If a strike does take place, it will be the first in 25 years, since a 15-day walkout by 185,000 employees rendered the corporation unprofitable.
Before contract negotiations came to a halt, both parties had tentatively agreed on a number of points, including the addition of air conditioning to more vehicles and the elimination of a two-tier wage structure for drivers who work weekends and are paid less.
Wage hikes for part-time employees, who, according to UPS, make a minimum of $16.20 an hour, are a sticking point in negotiations.
UPS announced last week that it would temporarily start preparing non-union workers in the US to fill in in the event of a strike.