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Alex Acosta to Newsmax: US 'Can't Afford' a Major UPS Strike

By    |   Monday, 17 July 2023 02:01 PM EDT

Former Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta told Newsmax Monday that the United States cannot afford a labor strike at UPS, which is one of the world's largest delivery companies.

"We certainly hope that we won't see a full-scale strike," Acosta said during an appearance on Newsmax's "National Report." "The deadline is two weeks away, July 31, and a lot can happen in two weeks."

Negotiations between UPS and the Teamsters Union — which represents 340,000 of its workers — have been at an impasse for more than a week, with the July 31 deadline to reach a deal on a new contract fast approaching.

If a deal is not reached by the time the current collective bargaining agreement expires, the union has threatened to strike.

Acosta, who served as secretary of Labor under former President Donald Trump, said that labor disputes such as the one between UPS and the Teamsters usually get resolved at the eleventh hour but that, "ultimately, the nation cannot afford a UPS strike."

"We've seen the problems that we can have in the economy when the supply chain gets backed up, and we can't afford the inflation and economic costs of a long-term strike," he said.

During a webcast with members on Sunday night, Teamsters President Sean O'Brien said he has asked the White House not to intervene if union members go on strike.

"My neighborhood where I grew up in Boston, if two people had a disagreement and you had nothing to do with it — you just kept walking," O'Brien reportedly said. "We don't need anybody getting involved in this fight."

Acosta said that regardless of what O'Brien would prefer, the White House may ultimately need to get involved.

"Of course, the union doesn't want the White House or the Department of Labor to get involved; but ultimately this strike would impact the national economy," he said. "If it does happen — and we don't know if it will — but if it does happen and it extends for more than a few days, the administration will have to get involved; because even though there are other suppliers ... UPS is a major part of the nation's supply chain, and we cannot afford to have a major strike at UPS."

More than half of the Atlanta-based delivery company's workforce is represented by the Teamsters in North America's largest private-sector contract. A strike by UPS Teamsters would be the first one since 185,000 workers walked off the job for 15 days in 1997.

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Former Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta told Newsmax Monday that the United States cannot afford a labor strike at UPS, which is one of the world's largest delivery companies.
alex acosta, ups, teamsters, labor, strike
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2023-01-17
Monday, 17 July 2023 02:01 PM
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