WASHINGTON — The Teamsters Union and United Parcel Service have reached a contract agreement that will give 110,000 UPS workers a 30-cent-an-hour salary increase and bonuses in each of the three years of the contract, the union announced Friday.
But a dissident Teamsters group, Teamsters for a Democratic Union, immediately raised questions about the ratification vote, and a spokesman said the group has asked its attorneys to look into possible legal action aimed at forcing another vote or sending the contract back to the bargaining table.
David Pratt, a spokesman for the Detroit-based dissidents, said a majority of UPS workers--36,093--actually voted against the new contract, while 35,036 workers voted for it. But Pratt said the Teamsters invoked a provision in their constitution that requires a two-thirds majority of those voting to reject a contract offer.
The Teamsters issued a statement announcing the new contract, but the statement did not mention the vote count.
However, Ken Sternad, a spokesman for UPS in Greenwich, Conn., confirmed the vote totals given by Pratt. His source, he said, was the union.
"Quite obviously, we're disappointed that the votes that were cast weren't more favorable," Sternad said. "But we do consider the contract a good package. Our workers already are the highest paid in the trucking industry."
He said the 40,000 part-time workers at UPS, who primarily sort packages and load and unload trucks, now earn $8 an hour to start and, with experience, $9 an hour. Full-time workers, mainly drivers, now earn an average of $15.34 an hour, he said.
The Teamsters' statement said that by the end of the new contract, the full-timers' salaries will increase to nearly $16 an hour, and health, welfare and pension benefits will rise by $8 per week in each of the three years of the contract.
The agreement, which is retroactive to Aug. 1 and continues until July 1, 1990, also provides a $1,000 bonus for full-time workers for each year of the contract and a $500 bonus for part-timers.