Workers at UPS Freight (formerly Overnite Transportation) in Indianapolis overwhelmingly ratified their first contract ever today, by a 107-1 vote. This agreement will improve wages, benefits and working conditions and will serve as a model to organize thousands of other UPS Freight employees nationwide, Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa announced.
"For more than 50 years, workers at UPS Freight's predecessor, Overnite, fought to win a Teamster contract," Hoffa said. "Today the union fulfilled its promise that we would not quit until workers achieved economic justice. Now we will help thousands of other UPS Freight employees win the same protections and guarantees on the job that the Indianapolis workers have. After UPS Freight workers join the Teamster family, we will focus our future organizing efforts at FedEx Freight."
The Teamsters and UPS Freight reached a tentative agreement on September 30. The contract, which covers 125 dockworkers and drivers who belong to Teamsters Local 135 in Indianapolis, also provides employees the protections of a grievance procedure to fight unfair management decisions, something workers have fought hard to achieve.
"This is a historic day," said Ken Hall, Director of the Teamsters Parcel and Small Package Division who was lead negotiator. "Thousands of Overnite workers fought so hard for this day to happen. We won't stop until all UPS Freight workers have the secure future that they deserve by working under a Teamster contract."
"In Indianapolis, we have been fighting to join the Teamsters since the mid-1990s, and it feels great to finally have the backing of the strongest union in North America," said Jesse Nicholson, a road driver and 20-year employee. "We look forward to our brothers and sisters at other company terminals joining us so that they too will have the same security."