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UPS Teamsters rally in Louisville for higher wages, better treatment

Teamster officials told WHAS11 that if no agreement is reached by the end of the month, workers are prepared to strike starting Aug. 1.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Dozens of Louisville UPS workers rallied on Tuesday. The UPS Teamsters union is demanding better pay and fair treatment from their employer.

This comes as the union and UPS are in the midst of negotiations for a new labor contract.

Teamsters officials told WHAS11's Jim Stratman that if no agreement is reached by the end of July, workers are prepared to strike starting Aug. 1.

Two rallies have already taken place Tuesday morning -- one at the Louisville Centennial Hub and the other at UPS Worldport.

Teamsters officials used this morning's rallies as a chance to give everyone a status report on the negotiations.

“We do not have a deal with the company yet," Fred Zuckerman, teamsters general secretary treasurer, said. "Although we’re close, they walked away from the bargaining table on July the 5th and we’re waiting to get back together with them.”

Officials with Teamsters say when UPS “walked away from the table”, the deal was already 90% done. 

There were just a few points to iron out -- one of them being pay for part time employees.

“They said well we just don’t have any more money to give," Zuckerman. "UPS is a very rich and prosperous company. They got plenty of money and the reason why they have that money is because of the work off our members backs.”

Sue Bishop said she, like many other employees she knows, works part time at UPS for the benefits and has a second job. She said raising wages could show employees that the company cares about them.

“It’s just frustrating to see something I think that’s so simple, such a simple thing, to show you know what we do care. And wouldn’t that look good,” Bishop said.

UPS sent out a statement on Tuesday, saying though the company has made an effort to work with Teamsters, it isn't surprised by the rallies.

"We have made steady progress in our negotiations with the Teamsters on a wide array of issues. Even so, we are not surprised to see some union members making their voices heard. We plan and expect to reach agreement on a new contract before the end of July that is a win for our employees, our company and customers, and the union," the UPS statement said.

The company acknowledged the rally and said that it expects to reach an agreement before the contract runs out.

Teamsters officials say the goal is to agree on a new, better contract for workers, but if that does not come by July 31,  they are ready to go on strike beginning Aug. 1.

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