The Teamsters Union played hardball with UPS, and it worked, getting the shipping giant to cave on every single demand they made, which means the world will avoid dealing with the hassle of a prolonged strike of the 340,000 employees. But, somebody will have to pay for the big wage increases, and that somebody is shippers. 

Experts say shippers should get ready to see a double-digit rate increase in 2024 as UPS finds ways to recoup costs.  Jerry Hempstead, president of Hempstead Consulting in Orlando, told SupplyChain Management Review that shippers should brace themselves for what’s coming with the strike averted. “And as Big Brown [UPS] does, the Purple Package Co. [FedEx] is most likely to follow. In about 10 weeks the GRI silly season begins, so, buckle up, we may be in for a bumpy ride.”

There will likely be a carryover on the price increase to other delivery companies like FedEx.

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The Teamsters had no problem celebrating their big win and letting UPS, and maybe more importantly, Amazon, know about it since union leaders will turn their attention to finding a way to unionize Amazon.  Teamsters General President Sean O’Brien said this in a statement. 

“Rank-and-file UPS Teamsters sacrificed everything to get this country through a pandemic and enabled UPS to reap record-setting profits. Teamster labor moves America. The union went into this fight committed to winning for our members. We demanded the best contract in the history of UPS, and we got it. UPS has put $30 billion in new money on the table as a direct result of these negotiations. We’ve changed the game, battling it out day and night to make sure our members won an agreement that pays strong wages, rewards their labor, and doesn’t require a single concession. This contract sets a new standard in the labor movement and raises the bar for all workers.”

By the way, there are over 1.5 million Amazon employees, many looking for the Teamsters Union to do for them what they just did to UPS. 

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