UPS workers to get air-conditioned trucks in tentative labor deal

UPS delivery drivers will no longer have to sweat through the hottest days of the year while driving their trucks from delivery to delivery.

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The company and the Teamsters Union have struck a deal that will have UPS to gradually add air conditioning to all of its 95,000 vehicles, CNN reported.

The Teamsters announced the deal on Twitter.

The large delivery vehicles, smaller sprinter vans and every brown package vans that roll through neighborhoods purchased after Jan 1 will have in-cab air conditioning.

The vans that are already in the fleet will have two fans added to the cab within 30 days after contract ratification, The Washington Post reported.

The company had agreed earlier this year to install one fan in each vehicle, CNN reported. It is also working with scientists to develop cooling sleeves and hats to help lessen the effects of hot weather.

Air induction vents will be added to those vehicles’ cargo areas while non-electric ones will have heat shields installed.

CNN reported that temperatures can be higher than 120 degrees in the cargo areas, according to the Teamsters. The company has been cited and has received hazard letters from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration because of injuries drivers have suffered due to heat.

Some of the heat-related health issues drivers said they faced included dehydration, passing out and even kidney failure, according to a report by NBC News in 2019.

The labor agreement hasn’t been signed yet. Both sides are at the table hammering out the rest of the contract, The Washington Post reported.

The deadline for an agreement to avoid a strike is Aug. 1, the newspaper reported.

UPS delivered about 18.7 million packages a day in the first quarter of 2023, CNN reported.

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