The following is directly from the public facing "Pressroom UPS website" as of March 7th, 2013. It is interesting to read how UPS is portraying our current contract negotiations to the media and to our customers. Apparently, UPS seems confident in reaching an agreement by July 31, 2013. I wanted to post the current information here......in order to monitor how these press releases may change in the coming weeks/months. "We want a good contract that rewards our employees and allows us the necessary flexibilities to remain competitive in the marketplace. We're confident we can reach that goal." (From Below) UPS & IBT Teamsters Contract FAQs Q: What is the status of negotiations between UPS and the Teamsters? A: The current negotiations between UPS and the Teamsters are ongoing. Negotiations began on September 27, 2012, nearly a year prior to the expiration of the current agreement. Progress has been made over the last several months. In the past two negotiations, UPS and the union also began early and arrived at new agreements well before the existing agreements expired. Our present relationship is a positive one. The Teamsters recognize that UPS success translates into jobs and progress for all UPS employees. UPS remains confident we can reach an agreement with the Teamsters in advance of the current contract's expiration date of July 31. Q: As a customer, should I be concerned about picketing and other union activities I've seen reported in the media? A: Activities such as information sharing by the union and member meetings are common occurrences during negotiations and are not indicative of the state of negotiations. This is a normal part of the negotiation cycle. The media and other third parties may speculate on key issues or on the substance of discussions. Negotiations, however, take place at the bargaining table. While negotiations progress, UPS is focused on providing outstanding service to our customers while negotiating a contract that rewards our employees and allows us the necessary flexibilities to remain competitive in the marketplace. UPS remains confident we can reach an agreement with the Teamsters in advance of the current contract's expiration date of July 31. Q: When does the current contract expire? A: The current agreement is in effect through July 31, 2013. Q: Who is part of the contract? A: There are two main master agreements. One covers our part-time and full-time employees in the package operation, and the second covers employees at UPS Freight® - our less-than-truckload (LTL) and truckload company. Q: When did negotiations start? A: The Teamsters leadership unanimously agreed to open negotiations early, beginning September 27, 2012. UPS supported an early start to negotiations, which is the right thing to do for our customers, our shareowners and our employees. Both of the last two negotiations started early and finished early. Q: What happens during the negotiations? A: A typical cycle has two phases: negotiation and ratification. During a typical negotiation cycle, "non-economic" issues (e.g., work rules, seniority rights, time off, safety, equipment, etc.) and "economic" issues (e.g., pay and benefits) are discussed. UPS and Teamster representatives negotiate the issues; the process normally takes place over several months. Once a handshake agreement is reached, UPS and the Teamsters will make a public announcement. The union then sends the contract offer to UPS Teamster-represented employees for approval, which can take several weeks. Once the contract is ratified, UPS gain makes a public announcement. Q: What does UPS want to get out of these negotiations? A: We want a good contract that rewards our employees and allows us the necessary flexibilities to remain competitive in the marketplace. We're confident we can reach that goal. Q: Why won't you publically disclose the issues raised at the table? A: UPS does not negotiate through the news media or social media. We have told reporters that UPS will always be a source of accurate information regarding the current agreement. As the talks progress, UPS will not discuss the substance of what is said at the negotiating table. We will not outline to the news media our proposals or those of the union.