UPS pilots union calls on members to authorize strike

UPS-Worldport1-500x326The leadership of the Independent Pilots Association has issued a call to its members asking them to agree to a strike against United Parcel Service. According to an official release from IPA leadership, if a strike vote is approved, the five-pilot Executive Board of the IPA then would have authority to request a release from “federally mediated negotiations with UPS.”

The IPA is headquartered in Louisville, home of the UPS Worldport, the world’s largest fully automated package handling system. The IPA represents all UPS pilots who fly globally for UPS, totaling over 2,500.

“A strike is the least desirable outcome of labor negotiations, but after four years of contract talks with UPS we’ve reached a point where UPS needs to hear loud and clear from our membership that they are willing to do whatever it takes to secure an industry leading contract,” IPA President Capt. Robert Travis said in the press release.

Travis claims UPS has stalled and delayed, prolonging negotiations, and that management has created a bitter standoff with its pilots. He contrasted UPS’s stance with that of its main rival, FedEx, which recently announced a tentative agreement with its pilots. The results of the IPA’s vote strike will be announced Oct. 23.

In 2013 a UPS cargo plane crashed in Alabama. Federal accident investigators blamed both pilot error and UPS management. One issue raised in the wake of this crash was whether cargo pilots were required to fly too long without a rest.