Posts Tagged ‘Teamsters’

Warning! Warning!

UPS was hit with a huge crisis during August of 1997. This crisis was a nationwide strike, organized by a union called the Teamsters. The strike lasted 15 days and was describedas being “one of the largest, maybe most decisive labor dispute in U.S. since WWII.” The union consisted of 1.4 million members and it was a struggle between the labor and the management.


The unionhad called for 30,000 full time jobs to be opened for part time workers, but for them to be spread out over several years. They also demanded better wages and benefits. In the endthe union received a labor contract deal with UPS. It included to keep control of pension funds and winning increased retirees. They also won a nearly 40% increase in wages for the average part-time workers and the creation of 10,000 new full time positions.


This strike was very significant and personal to me because when I was in middle school this strike was going on and my father was the Program Manager and Plant Engineer. I remember him being gone for at least a week. He was in another city in Georgia for about five days and then in California for four, delivering packages and making sure the company was still up and running even though the majority of workers were out picketing.


Not only is this event a significant crisis for UPS but it was also a significant event for unions and the country as a whole. The union’s PR was greater than UPS’ during this time, it seemed. I think this might have been because most of the management was having to do other jobs to keep the business from going under. Was this the best thing to do? No, I don’t think that UPS should have hidden away. If there was something I have learned it is that you should not hide away, especially in a time of crisis. You should get up and discuss it with your public so they know what is going on. I think UPS did end up handling it well because they are still a very strong company and still have several million loyal customers.


Over 100 years old and running

UPS was founded in 1907 in Seattle, Washington by 19 year-old James E. (“Jim”) Casey. When it was first created it was called the American Messenger Company and Jim’s slogan was similar to what it is today: “Best service and lowest rates.”


In 1913 the name changed to Merchants Parcel Deliveries when they first got cars.


In  1919, what was now called UPS, made their first expansion to Oakland, California.


In 1930, UPS finally expanded to the east coast right after they were the first delivery company to try to provide air service (though it failed). However, in 1953, their air service resumed, and this time it lasted.


In 1975, UPS forges the “Golden Link” and became the first company to serve every address in the contiguous 48 states. In 1977, UPS delivers to Alaska and becomes the first to serve all 50 states.


After purchasing their first aircraft in 1981 and starting an international air service to six European countries in 1985, UPS got the authority by the FAA to operate their own aircraft in 1988.

They soon expanded their worldwide service from 104 to 175 countries in 1989.


In 1992, UPS begins to use electronic tracking. Finally in 1994, their website comes alive.


In 1997, one of the largest strikes by the Teamsters happens against UPS.


In 1999, UPS sells 10% of their stock in the initial public offering of the NY stock exchange.


Now in the 2000’s their tracking technology continuously increases as they strive to help their customers.