As part of the wave of strikes happening across industries in the US, workers for shipping giant UPS were set to strike to demand better pay and working conditions as a union.
If UPS failed to meet the International Brotherhood of Teamsters’ union demands by 1 August, the strike was predicted to take 25 million package deliveries per day out of the economy.
This strike would have severely affected the retail industry, which heavily relies on product delivery and reliable supply chains, as consumers now expect fast, if not same-day, delivery.
However, according to the BBC, the union and UPS have now come to a tentative collective bargaining agreement, settling on starting pay at $21 per hour for new part-time workers.
The National Retail Federation (NRF) has discussed the deal and avoided a strike.
NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay commented: “UPS is a major partner of the retail industry, and we are grateful it came to an agreement with the Teamsters without disruption to the marketplace.
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“The timing of this agreement is critical for consumers and families during the peak back-to-school shopping season. Retailers rely on stability within their supply chains, and this agreement will bring long-term stability, as well as assurance to the millions of businesses and employees who rely on smooth and efficient last-mile delivery.”
The NRF has been reporting steady growth in monthly US retail sales since the beginning of the year, which can now continue with the help of UPS workers.