Community Economy

United Parcel Service employees represented by the Teamsters union have given their contract negotiators the right to call a strike if necessary, but the company was quick to point out that the vote doesn’t mean a walkout is imminent.

The Teamsters union represents various UPS workers around the country, including thousands of package handlers and drivers at the company’s Worldport facility in Louisville.

The current labor contract between the union and UPS expires July 31, and negotiations are continuing.

UPS’s Louisville spokesman Mike Mangeot said in a statement that the two sides have reached tentative agreements on a variety of non-economic matters, subject to ratification.

He said the company is confident in its ability to resolve the outstanding issues, and strike authorization votes are a common tactic used during contract negotiations.

The union says 93 percent of UPS workers and 91 percent of UPS Freight workers who voted supported the strike authorization.

Rick Howlett is WFPL's Broadcast Editor and also produces feature and general assignment radio stories.