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UPS airline maintenance tech staff to strike

Staff Writer |
Airline maintenance technicians and worker who maintain UPS's fleet of jet engine aircrafts announced have authorized a strike at the shipping giant.

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The airline maintenance workers voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike after three years of negotiations during which UPS has continued to demand huge health care concessions.

In total, 80 percent, 950 of the company's 1,200 maintenance employees, participated in the strike vote, and 98 percent of those workers voted in favor of a strike. The workers voted in October and November by mail-in ballot.

The strike vote comes after UPS announced earlier this month that it beat third quarter earnings expectations with revenue of more than $14.9 billion.

UPS will ship some 700 million packages during the holiday shopping season, the peak period for UPS, and an increase of more than 16 percent over last year.

The company also announced plans to purchase 14 jumbo aircraft from Boeing Co. between 2017 and 2020—the first such order by UPS since 2008. The 14 Boeing 747-8s cost a total of $5.3 billion before discounts that may have been negotiated.

"We're glad that UPS can afford to invest in beefing up its international fleet," said Jim Kelley, a 29-year aircraft mechanic at UPS's Louisville, Ky. gateway.

"But if UPS can afford major capital investments and huge raises for top brass, then UPS can also choose to invest in the maintenance workers who do strenuous and dangerous work every day to make its success possible.

"No one wants to go on strike, but I voted to strike because UPS mechanics and our families deserve better from UPS."

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