Washington (July 19, 2023) - Senator Edward J. Markey joins Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), along with Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Richard Durbin (I-Ill.), John Fetterman (D-Pa.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Jacklyn Rosen (D-Nev.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) on Wednesday in sending a letter to International Brotherhood of Teamsters General President Sean O'Brien and United Parcel Service (UPS) Chief Executive Officer Carol Tomé to encourage the parties to reach a contract that provides all UPS workers fair wages, safe working conditions, affordable health care, and dignified retirement.
The senators strongly affirmed their support for workers exercising their right to strike if an equitable collective bargaining agreement cannot be reached, and committed to not intervening in the collective bargaining process between Teamsters and UPS.
“We understand that UPS Teamsters recently announced their overwhelming authorization of a strike—which would be the largest work stoppage at a single employer in American history—if the two parties cannot reach agreement on a contract by August 1,” wrote the senators. “We are hopeful that both sides can negotiate in good faith and reach a consensus agreement that addresses basic human needs and allows workers to do their jobs safely and with dignity. However, in the event a fair and equitable collective bargaining agreement cannot be reached, we commit to respect our constituents’ statutory and constitutional rights to withhold their labor and initiate and participate in a strike.”
The Teamsters-UPS contract is the largest private collective bargaining agreement in North America, covering nearly 350,000 workers. UPS Teamsters play an essential role every day in delivering necessary products across the country, including food and medicine, and play a critical role in keeping the American economy afloat. UPS made more than $11 billion in profits in 2022 and could afford to return $8.6 billion to shareholders through stock buybacks and dividends.
A similar letter was signed by 172 House members.