After some severe lobbying, The Teamsters and UPS recently agreed to equip the delivery and logistics company’s fleet of vehicles with air conditioning systems. In addition to AC, the vehicles will also feature new heat shields and extra fans.
The tentative agreement came to fruition during national contract negotiations on Tuesday, June 13th. For years, UPS Teamsters have been at risk from the dangers of heat-related issues nationwide. The new mandate will ensure that in-cab air conditioning systems will be installed in vehicles including larger delivery vehicles, smaller sprinter vans, and brown package cars, purchased past January 1, 2024.
“Air conditioning is coming to UPS, and Teamster members in these vehicles will get the relief and protection they’ve been fighting for,” said Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien in a statement after the negotiations. “The union’s entire national committee and our rank-and-filers should be commended for staying in this fight and making their priorities known to this company. We are here to protect more than 340,000 UPS Teamsters and get the best contract in the history of our union with this company. Today’s progress was a significant step towards a stronger new reality for so many workers and their families.”
Out of the company’s 93,000 vehicle fleet, most are package cars. Once ratified, all package car cabs would require two fans. Older non-electric UPS packages cars and vans would then get exhaust shields, while newer package cars would have air induction vents in the cargo compartments. This would reduce dangerous temperatures in the back of the cars.
More agreements were made and discussed with negotiating subcommittees on more than a dozen issues. The agreements follow the National Negotiating Committee’s announcement regarding the strike vote last week. Since then, 170 Teamster local unions representing UPS members have taken action.
Read more about the tentative agreement for air conditioning in UPS vehicles here.