Teamsters Ask UPS to Ban Drones, Driverless Vehicles

Teamsters Ask UPS to Ban Drones, Driverless Vehicles

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters' National Negotiating Committee submitted to UPS an 83-page document updating the prior agreement. In addition to the ban on drones and driverless vehicles, the union seeks the hiring of another 10,000 workers and halting deliveries after 9 p.m., including during the peak-delivery holiday season.

As part of contract negotiations with UPS, which began last week, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters wants to prevent UPS from using drones or driverless vehicles to deliver packages. The current collective bargaining agreement, one of the nation's largest, affects 260,000 full and part-time UPS employees and expires in July.

The union's National Negotiating Committee has submitted to UPS an 83-page document updating the prior agreement. In addition to the ban on drones and driverless vehicles, Teamsters' demands include hiring another 10,000 workers and halting deliveries after 9 p.m., including during the peak-delivery holiday season.

The online shopping industry has grown since the company's last agreement with Teamsters in 2013, and UPS and its competitors not only have more business, but newer technology with which to carry it out. UPS, Amazon, and others have reportedly been testing drone deliveries, according to a CNBC report.

UPS spokesman Steve Gaut said the company is focused on negotiating a contract that allows the company the flexibility needed to remain a highly competitive provider of reliable service.

The Teamsters also seeks provisions allowing workers to refuse to work in unsafe conditions and overloaded trucks. "It is the company's responsibility to hire and maintain a sufficient workforce to service its customers without unreasonably burdening its employees," according to the document. "Management has consistently failed to fulfill its obligation."

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