Local News

United Parcel Service and its pilots’ union have announced an agreement that the two sides say will avert the furloughs of 300 UPS pilots.

The package handler said earlier this year it would be forced to lay off the pilots because of a drop in business due to the recession.

UPS and the Independent Pilots Association now say the layoffs can be averted for at least a year through various voluntary cost-cutting steps by the pilots.

They include leaves of absence, early retirements and sick bank contributions.

UPS had asked the union to agree to a cost-cutting goal of $131 million to avoid layoffs for the next three years. The IPA says it has identified about $90 million in savings thus far but is trying to meet the goal.

It says about two-thirds of the 3,000 UPS Airlines pilots have volunteered in the effort.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation."