UPS and Hoffa: Who Will Blink First? With a July 31 contract deadline looming, Teamsters at United Parcel Service are urging union leaders to go down to the wire to win the best possible agreement. UPS is under tremendous pressure to settle as quickly as possible. Company spokespersons continue to make rosy predictions to the press while management tells members horror stories about the looming threat of lost business. In UPS hometown of Atlanta, as well as at other locations, management has lined up idle delivery trucks with signs posted saying mothballed by loss in volume. This handy threat against members is actually a sign of the pressure building on management. Meanwhile Teamster officials have promised members the best contract ever. At a rally on Sunday, June 23 Teamster negotiator hall said We expect not the same contract we got in 1997, but a better contract than 1997. In the 1997 agreement the union forced UPS to create 10,000 new full-time jobs over the course of the five year contract. The union is demanding the creation of 3,000 fulltime jobs each year of a three year contract. They also have set a goal of protecting workers from rampant overtime and bringing more UPS employees under the union contract. In recent years UPS has created new job classifications within its operation and expanded a non-union subsidiary, UPS Logistics. If Hoffa settles early, he will sell us short Louisville, Kentucky UPS driver David Thornsberry said. We are in best position ever, so a just-ok contract with the expected wage increases wont cut it. We need to see a big jump in the part-time wage rates and protection from the non-union threat of UPS Logistics. Bargaining continued on the contract during the week of June 24th.UPS management submitted economic proposals the week of June 17th. Proposals on health and welfare coverage and pensions were expected to be exchanged this week. Ultimately, the power to determine the contract lies in the hands of the members. They will vote on the national agreement and separately on the 32 supplemental agreements. For background information on the Teamsters and UPS obtain a copy of Rank and File Power at UPS a one hundred page booklet by TDU.