Teamsters Ask Feds for UPS Strike Countdown

The Teamsters union has asked federal officials to begin a 30-day countdown to a potential strike by aircraft mechanics against United Parcel Service Inc.

The union says it has bargained with UPS for more than four years without reaching a deal. Reprinted from the Associated Press

Its airline division asked the National Mediation Board on Friday to declare the talks have reached a stalemate.

If the board’s mediators do, they could ask both sides to agree to binding arbitration.

If either side rejects arbitration, it could start a 30-day countdown until the union could legally strike.

Robert Combine, president of Teamsters Local 2727 in Louisville, Ky., said the company has made large profits since 2006 but hasn’t met union demands for job security against foreign outsourcing and protection of health benefits.

Combine said the aircraft mechanics voted overwhelmingly for a strike if the company failed to make a reasonable contract offer.

“We do not wish to go out on strike, but UPS will leave us no choice if it insists on its unreasonable position,” he said.

UPS spokesman Mike Mangeot called the union’s request “a tactic to put pressure on negotiations.” He said the company doesn’t expect mediators to grant the union’s request and start the countdown toward a strike.

Mangeot said the union workers earn $43 an hour and don’t contribute to their health benefits. He said the company wasn’t making plans for a strike and doesn’t expect mediators to grant the Teamsters’ request.

UPS shares fell $1.20 to $61.56 in Tuesday afternoon trading.

Reprinted from the Associated Press.

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