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This new union boss could start the biggest strike in decades

You may not know Sean O’Brien. But it is ready to shake up the US economy in a way that no one else has in recent memory. O’Brien was sworn in as the new president of the 1.3 million-member International Teamsters Brotherhood on Tuesday, succeeding James Hoff, the son of the club’s most notorious president. The younger Hofa held the job for 23 years, much longer than his father ran the union. O’Brien, a self-proclaimed “fighter”, promises to take a much tougher line on employers than his predecessor. And that could lead to a strike by the nation’s largest union employer when Teamsters’s UPS contract expires on July 31, 2023. If that happens, it will be the nation’s largest and most embarrassing strike in decades. Teamsters are no longer suffocating in the country’s trucking system, as they did in the 1960s when it was run by Hofa’s father. However, it still represents 327,000 employees at UPS, the country’s largest truck and procurement management company. “You do not get into any situation where you want to go on strike,” he told CNN Business this week. “But these employers need to understand that we will not be afraid to push this trigger if necessary.” He points to UPS record profits and the union’s $ 350 million strike fund, discussing the dynamics of the upcoming talks, the negotiations he intends to lead, something his predecessors never did. “UPS was successful. We will use this success, “O’Brien said. “People are tired of seeing these companies make billions in profits and not distribute wealth.” “UPS and Teamsters have been working together for almost 100 years to meet the needs of UPS employees, customers and the communities where we live and work,” the company said in a statement to CNN Business. “We believe that we will continue to find common ground with the Teamsters and reach an agreement that is good for all involved.” The company ‘s statement appears to imply that it will not agree to set aside some of its profits in previous contracts that have angered Teamster’s critics such as O’Brien, such as the two – tier pay system for some union members at UPS. “The delivery and logistics industry is becoming more competitive. Our focus during the negotiations will be to agree on a contract that provides the flexibility that UPS needs to maintain its leading track record in the reliable services industry.” “Strike ‘almost certain’ Some outside observers believe that a strike at UPS next year is inevitable.” “I do not have a crystal ball, but unless UPS is reading the letters on the wall, a strike is almost certain,” said Todd Watson, an assistant professor and director of job training at Rutgers University. Last year, about 10,000 members of the United Auto Workers union twice voted against such agreements with agricultural and construction equipment maker John Deere & Co., as the company reported profits. “The union members went on strike for five weeks before finally accepting a deal that gave them an immediate 10% increase, a $ 8,500 signing bonus, additional fixed increases, lump sum payments and cost of living increases.” “a lot with John Deere,” said Vachon. O’Brien’s election is just the latest sign of growing militancy among union members, he added. The current contract with UPS was signed in 2018 due to the objections of 54% of the Teamsters who voted against it. The union rules at the time allowed the pact to enter into force if less than two-thirds of all members took part in the ratification vote. The unpopular deal was a major factor in O’Brien’s election in November. He defeated a Hofa-backed candidate after Hofa chose not to run for another term. Brown trucks carrying 6% of US GDP to UPS would be big enough to take a bite out of the overall US economy. UPS estimates that its trucks carry more than 6% of the US gross domestic product, the broadest measure of the country’s economic activity. The company also manages 2% of world GDP. UPS has grown significantly since its last strike, a 16-day strike in 1997, when the union had 180,000 employees. It was the largest work stoppage in the United States in the last 30 years, according to Labor Department statistics. A UPS strike would now be the largest strike in decades — and perhaps the largest U.S. strike ever against a single company. O’Brien’s background is very different from that of James Hoff, who was a trade unionist before becoming president. “O’Brien is a fourth-generation Teamster who joined the club at the age of 18 as a heavy equipment driver for the greater Boston area,” O’Brien said when asked about the biggest difference between himself and his predecessor. He is pleased with the recent signs of strength in the US labor movement and believes that the current environment is likely to be a turning point in labor and management relations after years of concessions, such as two-tier pay schemes. “They want to reap the benefits of their work and not fall victim to the final balance sheet,” O’Brien said.

You may not know Sean O’Brien. But it is ready to shake up the US economy in a way that no one else has in recent memory.

O’Brien was sworn in as the new president of the 1.3 million-member International Brotherhood of Teamsters on Tuesday, succeeding James Hoffa, the son of the union’s most notorious president. The younger Hofa held the job for 23 years, much longer than his father ran the union.

O’Brien, a self-proclaimed “fighter”, promises to take a much tougher line on employers than his predecessor. And that could lead to a strike at the country’s largest union employer when Teamsters’s UPS contract expires on July 31, 2023.

If that happens, it will be the nation’s biggest and most subversive strike in decades.

Willing to “pull the trigger”

Teamsters are no longer suffocating in the country’s trucking system, as they did in the 1960s when it was run by Hofa’s father. However, it still represents 327,000 employees at UPS, by far the largest truck and procurement management company in the country.

O’Brien looks set to break up for a fight. “You do not get into any situation where you want to go on strike,” he told CNN Business this week. “But these employers need to understand that we will not be afraid to push this trigger if necessary.”

He points to UPS record profits and the union’s $ 350 million strike fund, discussing the dynamics of the upcoming talks, the negotiations he intends to lead, something his predecessors never did.

“UPS has been successful. We will build on that success,” O’Brien said. “People are tired of seeing these companies make billions in profits and not distribute wealth.”

Despite record profits, UPS says it needs a competitive deal

UPS will not immediately comment on O’Brien’s stance, but said the company believes it can find a way to work with the union.

“UPS and Teamster have worked together for nearly 100 years to meet the needs of UPS employees, customers and the communities where we live and work,” the company said in a statement to CNN Business. “We believe that we will continue to find common ground with the Teamsters and reach an agreement that is good for all involved.”

The company statement seems to imply that it will not agree to set aside some of its profits in previous contracts that have angered Teamster leadership critics such as O’Brien, such as the two-tier pay system for some union members at UPS.

“The delivery and logistics industry is becoming increasingly competitive. Our focus during the negotiations will be to agree on a contract that provides the flexibility UPS needs to maintain its leading track record in the trusted services industry,” she added. company.

A strike “almost certain”

Some outside observers believe that a strike at UPS next year is inevitable.

“I do not have a crystal ball, but if UPS does not read the writing on the wall, a strike is almost certain,” said Todd Watson, an assistant professor and director of labor education at Rutgers University.

Wasson cites other recent strikes, in which workers rejected lucrative test deals between their own union leadership and company management.

Last year, about 10,000 members of the United Auto Workers association voted against twice such agreements with agricultural and construction equipment manufacturer John Deere & Co., such as that company record earnings report. The union members went on strike for five weeks before finally taking over acceptance of an agreement which gave them an immediate 10% increase, a $ 8,500 signing bonus, additional fixed increases, one-time payments and increases in the cost of living.

“I think these upcoming UPS talks have a rhyme with John Deere,” Vachon said. O’Brien’s election is fair the last sign of growth militancy between ranks and union membershe added.

The current contract at UPS was signed in 2018 due to the objections of 54% of the Teamster ranking who voted against it. The rules of the union at that time allowed the pact to enter into force if less than two thirds of all members took part in the ratification vote.

The unpopular deal was a major factor The election of O’Brien In November. He defeated a candidate supported by Hofa after Hofa chose not to run for another term.

Brown trucks carrying 6% of US GDP

A blow to the UPS would be big enough to take a bite out of the overall US economy. UPS estimates that its trucks carry more than 6% of the US gross domestic product, the broadest measure of the country’s economic activity. The company also manages 2% of world GDP.

UPS has grown significantly since its last strike, a 16-day strike in 1997, when the union had 180,000 employees. It was the largest work stoppage in the United States in the last 30 years, according to Labor Department statistics.

A UPS strike would now be the largest in decades – and perhaps the largest US strike against a single company.

O’Brien’s background is very different from that of James Hoffa, who was a union lawyer before becoming president. O’Brien is a fourth-generation Teamster who joined the association at the age of 18 as a heavy equipment driver for the greater Boston area.

“One thing is, we will have a leader who has made his way through the ranks and the record,” O’Brien said when asked about the biggest difference between him and his predecessor.

O’Brien is pleased with the recent signs of strength in the U.S. labor movement and believes the current environment is likely to be a turning point in labor-management relations after years of concessions, such as two-tier wage systems.

“There is an appetite to fight the boss,” O’Brien said. “[Workers] they want to reap the benefits of their work and not fall victim to the final situation of a balance sheet “.

This new union boss could start the biggest strike in decades Source link This new union boss could start the biggest strike in decades

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