Culture of bullying has UPS workers ready to strike

United Parcel Service union workers across the country have voted in favor of a potential strike.

The Teamsters Local 249 president in Pittsburgh said there is a culture of bullying, and that sticking points include pay, a critical pension fund and a lack of full-time employment.

“UPS refuses to provide more full-time jobs, forcing the current full-time employees to work mandated overtime, all while being consistently harassed to deliver more packages in less time,” Teamsters Local 249 President Kevin Schmitt said in a statement to Channel 11 News.

When it comes to pay, Schmitt said nearly 60 percent of employees in western Pennsylvania are part-time, receiving $10 per hour as a starting wage, with no healthcare for the year.

The union is proposing UPS pay employees $15 per hour.

Schmitt said the union is also fighting to save the pension promised to more than 1,100 employees in western Pennsylvania.

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While union workers have voted in favor of a strike, it hasn’t come to the point that they’ll be hitting the picket lines.

“This does not mean a strike is imminent. The reality is that UPS and the Teamsters have already reached tentative agreements, subject to ratification, on a wide variety of non-economic issues,” a statement from UPS said.

Union members and UPS officials are resuming negotiations Thursday.