Talks between United Parcel Service Inc. and the package deliverer’s unionized employees over a new labor deal are getting more tense — for the company, the drivers transporting goods to doorsteps and the customers who depend on it for shipments. Executives at archrival FedEx Corp. on Tuesday appeared just fine with that.
earnings conference call on Tuesday, an analyst asked executives about the impact from those negotiations. Brie Carere, FedEx’s chief customer officer, said that while they weren’t planning for any specific gains, the frictions at UPS presented opportunities nonetheless.
“The short answer is in Q4 we did not see any material benefit because of those discussions and we have not planned for any benefit moving into fiscal year 2024,” Brie Carere, FedEx’s chief customer officer, said on FedEx’s earnings conference call on Tuesday.
“What I can tell you is that this has opened a lot of doors,” she continued. “We’re having a lot of great conversations with legacy UPS customers and we feel really good about the sales pipeline because of the strong value proposition we have versus our primary competitor.”
UPS’s Teamsters union on Friday voted to authorize a strike if their employer can’t produce a contract they like by July 31, when the current deal expires. The Teamsters represent more than 340,000 delivery drivers and logistics workers at UPS
according to a statement from the union. Talks between the union and UPS began on April 17.
The negotiations at UPS are the latest knot to have formed along the nation’s supply chain over the past two years, after the economy’s shutdown during the pandemic upended factory production and shipping schedules, backing up ports and warehouses. Amid the dislocation, the costs to ship things rose — even as delays threatened to pile up — creating a profit windfall for the shipping industry.
Last week, West Coast union dockworkers and their employers at the ports reached a tentative agreement on a new labor contract. President Joe Biden last year signed a bill to avert a rail strike, after workers threatened one over time-off policies. Individual rail operators have since worked to reach agreements with their unions.