UPS Drivers Threaten Strike Over Working Conditions

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ON THE MOVE — UPS delivery driver Jason Ledford goes non-stop getting packages to doorsteps throughout Waynesville, pictured in this 2021 making a delivery at Waynesville Middle.

Your deliveries could be delayed if the threat of a strike by UPS workers comes to fruition.

The union that represents UPS workers — the International Brotherhood of Teamsters — voted in favor of a strike if a labor deal can’t be reached. The Western North Carolina chapter, Local 61, represents approximately 600 UPS drivers.

The WNC chapter approved the strike authorization with 96% of voting members in favor.

“We want better working conditions and less hours. We want what we deserve,” Local 61 President Mark Greene said. “They work really hard. It’s a brutal job. They’re out in the elements all day long.”

Greene called UPS “a very brutal company to work for.”

A potential strike could devastate the economy and bring many online purchasing platforms grind to a standstill. In 2022, UPS was second in parcel volume, trailing only the United States Postal Service. USPS carried 6.7 billion packages, UPS had 5.2 billion, Amazon had 4.8 billion and FedEx had 4.1 billion.

The union vote does not mean there will be a strike, however. UPS and Teamsters have until July 31 to reach a deal on a new labor contract.

“It’s really to get the company’s attention if they aren’t going to negotiate in good faith,” Greene said.

Greene doubts a strike will become a reality “because UPS doesn’t want that to happen either.”

UPS drivers routinely face tough work conditions. From extreme heat to long hours, drivers go through the wringer to get millions of package, delivered to millions of doorsteps every day.

Greene said that he could not discuss details of the negotiations so far, but did touch on the most recent development that has been made public.

On Wednesday, Teamsters announced that they had reached an agreement with UPS on air conditioning in vehicles, something desperately needed during the summer months.

“There have been people die from heat exhaustion that work for UPS,” Greene said. “That’s why we were working so hard to get air conditioning. The company is making billions and billions. Why wouldn’t they pass that on?”

The agreement would provide air conditioning in newly-purchased vehicles beginning Jan. 1, 2024. Two in-cab fans would be installed in vehicles after a new contract is ratified. Newer non-electric vehicles would also be fitted with exhaust heat shields.

The air conditioning concession seems to be a step in the right direction and just one reason that Greene is optimistic that negotiations will work in the right way.

“I think this will be the best contract ever negotiated for Teamsters,” Greene said. “Definitely the best since I joined the Teamsters 36 years ago.”




Teamsters Vote By 97 Percent to Strike If UPS Fails to Deliver Strong Contract

(WASHINGTON) – UPS Teamsters have voted by an overwhelming 97 percent to authorize a strike, giving the union maximum leverage to win demands at the bargaining table.

The powerful vote allows the UPS Teamsters National Negotiating Committee to call a strike should UPS fail to come to terms on a strong new contract by July 31, when the union’s current National Master Agreement expires. The Teamsters represent more than 340,000 UPS package delivery drivers and warehouse logistics workers nationwide.

“This vote shows that hundreds of thousands of Teamsters are united and determined to get the best contract in our history at UPS. If this multibillion-dollar corporation fails to deliver on the contract that our hardworking members deserve, UPS will be striking itself,” said Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien. “The strongest leverage our members have is their labor and they are prepared to withhold it to ensure UPS acts accordingly.”

National negotiations between the Teamsters and UPS began April 17. Union representatives and rank-and-file members serve on the national negotiating committee.

The UPS Teamsters National Master Agreement is the largest private-sector contract in North America. Full- and part-time UPS Teamsters are working in lockstep for a new five-year agreement that guarantees higher wages for all workers, more full-time jobs, an end to forced overtime and harassment from management, elimination of a two-tier wage system, and protection from heat and other workplace hazards.

"This strike authorization vote sends a clear message to UPS that our members are damned and determined to take necessary action to secure a historic contract that respects their dedication and sacrifice," said Teamsters General Secretary-Treasurer Fred Zuckerman. “Our members are the backbone of UPS, and they are the reason this corporation hauled in more than $100 billion in revenue just last year. It’s time for UPS to pay up."

Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.2 million hardworking people in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico. Visit for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at

UPS & T-Force Freight Members

Sunday, June 11th, 2023 from 1-5pm

Union Hall: 45 Sardis Rd. Asheville, NC 28806

Worksite meetings also being held. Ask your Steward for details!

With the help of the IBT Training & Development Dept., Local 61 hosted a Shop Stewards Training Seminar on April 15th, 2023. 

We had an excellent turnout and want to give all our stewards who took the time out of their Saturday to make it to this event a huge thank you. 

Paul Trujillo (IBT Training & Development), Karen Jones (IBT Historian & Trainer) & James Wright (International VP) were in attendance and taught our stewards an extensive history of the Teamsters Union and how to be an effective Shop Steward. 

We ran a mock AAPGC panel to show our stewards what to expect if they are in attendance. 

We heard a message from our International President, Sean O'Brien, about the importance of solidarity.  President O'Brien updated us all on the UPS/IBT Contract negotiations. 

We also heard a message from MaryBe McMillan, President of the NC State AFL-CIO, who was unable to attend.  MaryBe told our stewards what all the AFL-CIO does for Labor in North Carolina and congratulated Local 61 on recent organizing victories. 

Duncan Baker from Sounds Essential also presented our online grievance filing system that will be available soon to all our Members. 

Thank you to all who attended and helped organize this event.  It was a huge success!






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The Teamsters Union is proud to celebrate the accomplishments of women in the labor movement—and throughout history—during Women’s History Month every March.  

Throughout the year, we appreciate and honor the women who make the Teamsters the strongest union in North America.

Teamsters lead the way in championing gender equality. Since the union was founded in 1903, the Teamsters welcomed women and men alike. Together, they had a vision for a better future for workers, and the tenacity to take on greedy corporations, organize politically, and fight like hell for the working class.

Teamster women mobilized, organized, sat at the bargaining table, walked the picket line, and elevated their voices for justice. Dedicated and fearless Teamster women took on the important fights throughout our history to improve the lives of working people. While progress has been made, that fight for workers’ rights and women’s rights in our country continues.

Women have long played an integral role in the labor movement. Thanks to these efforts, more workers have been able to organize to gain the benefits of Teamster representation—including gender-blind contracts with higher wages, better benefits, safer working conditions, and a voice on the job. 

The Teamsters Union is proud to work with and support the heroines of the labor movement. We look forward to continuing to fight together in the battle for true social and economic justice. 

Teamsters Celebrate Women's History Month

Parking lot meetings were held throughout the month of February & into March to inform our UPS Members of important contract updates.  Local 61 President, Mark Greene, informed everyone about our participation in the IBT's 'Contract Unity Pledge.'  Brother Greene met with these Members in Sylva and snapped a couple of photos from that visit.

Sylva 1  Sylva 2

Brother Greene also visited the UPS Franklin building and had a great show of support from those Members as well.  We apprecaite everyone's willingness to participate in these important upcoming contract negotiations for the 2023-2028 Contract.

Franklin 1

Franklin 2

On February 18th, Teamsters Local 61 participated in a legislative luncheon hosted by the WNC Central Labor Council.  NC AFL-CIO President Marybe McMillan outlined the goals for workers in our state.  Four (4) NC Legislators spoke at this event along with a Buncombe County Commissioner and an Asheville City Council Member.   

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From left to right:

Tyler Murphy (UPS Shop Steward)

Brian Ball (Secretary-Treasurer)

Albert Arguelles (UPS Shop Steward)

& Kim Rhoney (Asheville City Council)

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Julie Mayfield (NC Senator, Buncombe County)


Our Voice, an Asheville non-profit organization, recently voted to unionize.  These new members are working closely with Local 61 to get their very first contract negotiated.  Thank you to Our Voice members for your participation during these negotiations.  Everyone deserves a voice in their workplace!


Green Sage, a local cafe and restaurant, held a rally in Downtown Asheville on February 14th.  Along with their supporters, they raised awareness about to their right to organize their workplace.  Local 61 has filed a petition with the NLRB to hold a union election between Local 61 and Green Sage South employees.  We are currently waiting for the date to be set to hold this election.  Stay tuned for updates.

Click here for the WLOS News 13 Article


(Photo Credits to WLOS News 13 Staff)



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