Louisville, Ky.—The Independent Pilots Association has announced that more than 99 percent of its members voted to give the authority to call a strike to its five-pilot executive board.
“The overwhelming outcome of this vote is both a show of IPA unity and a clear signal to UPS management that our Crewmembers are serious about closing out this contract over the next two weeks in Baltimore,” says Capt. Tom Nicholson, President of the IPA. “We only hope that UPS management is as committed to finishing this contract as we are. We are in our third year of negotiations with UPS management over this contract. Ups knows what it’s going to take to make a deal, and their actions at the table over the next two weeks will let us, and the NMB know if they want to come to agreement or dig-in for the traditional UPS labor fight, which will further confuse our customers and leave them uncertain about the stability of the airline.”
A recent survey of Fortune 4000 shippers has revealed that many UPS customers are concerned about the status of talks between the union and UPS management. Customers are not hopeful for a smooth resolution to the issues, with 47 percent of the shippers surveyed anticipating a UPS pilot contract only after public controversy and some work stoppage, or a strike and a long fight and 91 percent of those surveyed would contract with a substitute carrier if there was a UPS work stoppage. According to the survey, UPS would likely lose 69 percent of its customers to rival FedEx. Of those shippers surveyed, 10 percent would never be willing to switch their company’s business back to UPS after a work stoppage.