UPS Freight workers begin voting on contract

UPS workers in its UPS Freight unit, created when the company acquired the nonunion trucking company Overnite Transportation in 2005, began voting on a contract with the company over the weekend in an election that will run through April 6.

The Teamsters have gotten certification to represent about 9,600 of the workers at 79 of the 200 UPS Freight locations, and certification is pending at another 20 locations. There are about 12,600 workers from the former Overnite operations that could potentially join to become Teamsters.

UPS, which already has 246,000 Teamster members among its 425,000 employees, reached a "neutrality" agreement with the union over its efforts to organize the former Overnite employees, and reached a handshake agreement on the contract, which will run through 2013 if approved.

Teamster President Jim Hoffa said last week that the organizing drive among the UPS Freight workers, with 9,600 signing union cards since the Jan. 16, is "an historic and defining moment for the Teamsters."

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