On Friday, UPS union workers voted 97% in favor of a strike that could start Aug. 1 if the company does not meet negotiations set by the Teamsters union, according to CNN. If a UPS strike ensues, it would be the largest employer strike in U.S. history — and could result in considerable consequences in a world increasingly reliant on deliveries.

The news: “The results do not mean a strike is imminent,” UPS said in a statement, via The New York Times, stating that it is confident it will come to an agreement with union workers. The vote just means that labor leaders will have the ability to call for a strike if negotiation isn’t met within their set time frame.

  • The last time UPS workers went on strike was in 1997, according to The Associated Press, which said that a UPS strike in 2023 could be far more “disruptive,” especially since many Americans rely heavily on companies such as Amazon to supply their households.
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The bigger picture: The looming strike and contract negotiations have mountainous implications for both the U.S. labor movement and the economy, The Washington Post reported, given that Teamsters negotiations have “raised standards” for working conditions for employees all across the U.S.

  • “A strike could have devastating consequences for an economy that is increasingly reliant on its delivery infrastructure,” the Post said, given that 6% of the country’s gross domestic product is transported via UPS each year.

Who are the Teamsters, and what do they want? The Teamsters are a union that represents freight drivers and warehouse workers, per USA Today.

  • The Teamsters are bargaining for a range of things that can improve working conditions for UPS employees, including a requirement for air conditioning in new UPS vehicles, and fans and ventilation for all existing vehicles.
  • The union also says that UPS employees are “overdue” for a pay increase following the strenuous pressures of delivering goods during the pandemic, per the Times.
  • Other demands from the union include “no more excessive overtime, no more two-tier pay, higher part-time pay, more full-time jobs, job security for feeders and package drivers, and video camera and harassment protection,” according to USA Today.