ATLANTA — Sandy Springs-based United Parcel Service is working to hammer out a union contract with about 350,000 unionized workers.
If the two parties can’t reach an agreement soon, there could be a strike over the summer.
Channel 2′s Justin Gray spoke with people on both sides of the issue and learned they already agree on something: safety in the summer heat.
[DOWNLOAD: Free WSB-TV News app for alerts as news breaks]
Having air conditioning, at home or in cars, is something we take for granted during the hottest parts of the year.
UPS and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, a worker’s union, have reached a tentative deal to add air conditioning units to the compnay’s trucks for the first time.
A UPS driver tells Channel 2 Action News his story from last summer, when the heat made him collapse.
“You’re in an oven, you’re in a straight-up oven, and there’s no air condition whatsoever,” Colin Morgan, an Arizona UPS driver, told Channel 2 Action News.
In the summer of 2022, Morgan made national headlines after a Ring doorbell video captured him collapsing on the job.
“I was in the truck too long,” Morgan said. “And I just had already had packages all over the place, and was in there for about 20 minutes or so until I finally walked out, walked towards the door and the cool air just hit me.”
His collapse on camera while working in the heat sparked a discussion about the working conditions delivery drivers face in extreme heat.
- Man accused of stealing more than $300,000 from families in alleged Gwinnett County pyramid scheme
- Man dined and dashed at The Juicy Crab. Now he’s facing murder charges.
- Bud Light, America’s top beer for decades, falls to second following LGBTQ+ marketing criticism
Now, a year later, UPS says it has reached a tentative agreement with the union to equip all newly purchased small package delivery vehicles with air conditioning, starting in 2024.
The company said they also planned to add a forced-air induction system to all new package cars and existing ones within 18 months of getting a signed contract that would bring fresh air from the front to the cargo area.
Morgan tells Channel 2 Action News that he’s feeling better than last summer, but that could change in the next months.
“Yeah, feeling way better,” Morgan said. “Wait until 115 hits and we get back there, then we can talk again.”
UPS and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters are going through negotiations because the current contract between them expires at the end of July, and the new one still needs to be finalized.
Teamsters members are voting this week to authorize a potential strike if a deal with UPS fails to materialize. The results of that vote are expected to be announced on Friday.
[SIGN UP: WSB-TV Daily Headlines Newsletter]
©2022 Cox Media Group