UPS, union no closer on contract

Adam Rosen

Contract talks stalled Thursday between UPS and Local Union 705. Talks are not scheduled to resume until Tuesday, less than 72 hours before the 11,000 members of the union can strike.

Steve Pocztowski, secretary-treasurer for Local 705, said the two sides are no closer after meeting Thursday. He said they will take a break from negotiations this weekend and reconvene Tuesday morning in hopes of coming to agreement on a new contract.

If Local 705 members opt to strike when their contract expires at 12:01 a.m. Aug. 1, it would leave an estimated 2 million to 3 million packages a day undelivered at hubs in the Chicago area. 

Norman Black, spokesman for UPS in Atlanta, said the company has contingency plans in place for occurrences like natural disasters and employee strikes. He said he is confident, however, that UPS and Local 705 will come to terms on a deal long before the proposed strike date. 

Pocztowski said his group gave UPS a full proposal June 9, and UPS has done nothing to make a deal, and the strike vote, with nearly 93 percent (2,993 of 3,225) in favor of a strike hopefully showed UPS how serious they are. 

“There is not one serious thing that they’ve done,” he said regarding the negotiations.

Pocztowski said there are more than 150 pages of proposal changes in the contract the Local 705, which is indepedent of the national UPS union, gave UPS in June. He said UPS came back to them offering half the amount of a raise and less in pension contributions that the national UPS union received in their contract signed in October.

UPS hubs in Illinois include locations in Addison, Bedford Park, Chicago, Decatur, Franklin Park, Hodgkins, Northbrook, Palatine, Rockford and Rock Falls.

If union members strike,  Pocztowski said they will extend an offer to various other major hubs to join in on the strike, including New York, New Jersey, Boston and Los Angeles.