It is not uncommon for American workers to negotiate their way to better pay and better conditions. Sometimes a simple mediation session irons out all the issues and sends workers back to their posts happy and ready to take on a new day. However, for UPS pilots there hasn't been any such thing as a simple mediation. Entering their fifth year of negotiations, UPS pilots find themselves considering a strike as a way to demand much needed change in their work environment.
Coming into the 2015 holiday season, consumers may be concerned with how a UPS pilot strike will affect their online shopping and gift shipping habits. While a strike will certainly impact what gets where when, for pilots it is a small price to pay to fight pilot fatigue and receive better pay.
Long hours and hectic schedules leave UPS pilots struggling to stay awake. As it is right now, UPS does not hold their pilots to the same regulations set by the Federal Aviation Administration for in-air hours and rest time between flights. UPS pilots are fighting to have their standards changed to more closely match those set by the FAA. Pilots are also demanding better health care benefits and bonuses as well as an increased hourly rate and more retirement options.
Right now the only thing stopping UPS pilots from striking is that they are still considered to be in negotiations with the company. If the union representing the pilots requests release from these negotiations and the mediators grant it, the pilots can go on strike.
Since these developments are heating up just in time for the hectic holiday season, this story may be one for consumers to keep an eye on. If a strike is imminent, hopefully UPS pilots have the skilled representation needed to get what they want without impacting consumer's holiday plans.
Source: The Denver Post, "UPS pilots push for strike as holiday season approaches," Laura Stevens, Oct. 23, 2105