Some of the Biggest Labor Contracts Are Expiring in 2023

Negotiations will happen in 2023 for among the largest contracts within the labor motion, together with at UPS and the Huge Three automakers.

Employees are hoping to benefit from a good labor market to reverse years of concessions and win huge raises to assist deal with inflation. New leaders within the Teamsters, and doubtlessly the Auto Employees (UAW), have promised to place up a extra aggressive combat.


The Teamsters contract masking 340,000 bundle automotive drivers and warehouse staff at UPS expires July 31. New Teamsters President Sean O’Brien has promised the union will probably be prepared for the primary strike towards the parcel big since 1997.

“The times of concessions and strolling throughout our members are over,” he stated in August, kicking off the contract marketing campaign. “We received’t prolong negotiations by a single day. We’ll both have a signed settlement that day or be hitting the pavement.”

Among the many points are extreme extra time, low pay for part-timers, subcontracting, driver-facing cameras, and ongoing harassment by supervisors.

There’s a goal on two-tier. Already infesting UPS amenities, two-tier was expanded in 2018 to create an underclass of bundle automotive drivers. That contract was so unpopular that the previous Teamster leaders might impose it solely by invoking an undemocratic two-thirds-to-reject rule. That language was repealed on the 2021 conference.


The Huge Three contracts, masking 150,000 auto staff at Ford, Normal Motors, and Stellantis (previously Chrysler), expire on September 14.

Members are hungry for a brand new course — that’s clear from the outcomes of the latest UAW elections.

Among the many points in negotiations will probably be two-tier wages and advantages — new hires begin at simply $17 an hour and get a 401(okay) as an alternative of a pension — and successful again cost-of-living changes. Job safety will even be a serious challenge, because the trade shifts to electrical car manufacturing.


The contract masking 200,000 metropolis letter carriers expires Could 20. (Postal staff, the nation’s largest union workforce, are break up amongst 4 unions.)

Understaffing is extreme. Letter carriers are working until lengthy after darkish, with few days off. New hires begin on a decrease tier and are made to work Sundays delivering for Amazon; turnover is excessive.

If ever there was a yr to defeat two-tier, that is it — the Postal Service is so determined that in some areas it’s already hiring straight into tier one. And high-profile contract battles towards two-tier at UPS and the Huge Three ought to put the wind in labor’s sails.

A letter provider strike is very unlikely, although — not solely as a result of it’s unlawful (which didn’t cease the nice postal strike of 1970) but in addition as a result of this not a union that mobilizes. Final time round there was no survey on bargaining priorities, by no means thoughts rallies or store ground motion. Show us mistaken!


UAW contracts masking 5,000 staff at heavy tools producer Caterpillar in Illinois expire on March 1.

The 2021 John Deere strike, the place staff received speedy 10 p.c raises and preserved the pension for brand new hires, will probably function inspiration. In the meantime, 1,100 UAW members at CNH in Iowa and Wisconsin have been on strike since Could over three-tier wages (decrease than their counterparts at CNH’s non-union vegetation) and compelled extra time.

Caterpillar has viciously fought its unions for 30 years; the corporate is already coaching managers and has begun its fearmongering marketing campaign in case of a strike.


The United Electrical Employees (UE) contract masking 1,400 locomotive manufacturing staff in Erie, Pennsylvania, is up on June 9.

Employees there struck for 9 days in 2019 and beat again a lot of the concessions being pushed by new proprietor Wabtec, which had purchased the plant as a part of its buy of GE Transportation. Wabtec was making an attempt to impose a brand new contract that instituted necessary extra time, slashed pay for brand new hires and recalled staff, and allowed the corporate to rent non-union temps for 20 p.c of the plant’s jobs.

Retaining jobs in Erie is a longstanding challenge on the plant; Wabtec operates a nonunion manufacturing unit in Texas. The union is backing efforts to power railroads to swap older, soiled locomotives for brand new inexperienced locomotives that could possibly be produced in Erie.


The contract masking 3,000 members of Worldwide Union of Electrical Employees (IUE-CWA) locals at a number of Normal Electrical manufacturing amenities expire on June 18. They make jet engines, amongst different issues.

GE union members from as far-off as Kansas and Kentucky rallied on the firm’s headquarters in Boston in October demanding the corporate make investments extra in its U.S. vegetation, together with including 1000’s of jobs to just lately closed vegetation.

Employees are additionally pushing for cost-of-living will increase and extra inexpensive well being care. Earlier this yr GE introduced plans to separate its remaining belongings into three separate firms — aviation, well being care, and energy — which the union says is simply one other scheme to reward Wall Road.


The 5 unions at United Airways, together with the Flight Attendants (AFA-CWA), Machinists, the Airline Pilots Affiliation, the Teamsters, and a union of flight dispatchers, simply introduced they’ve shaped a brand new coalition to coordinate bargaining. The pilots overwhelmingly rejected a contract provide.

Contracts have expired for many of those unions, however bargaining is ruled by the prolonged course of laid out underneath the Railway Labor Act.

Over at American Airways, the flight attendants are picketing to protest overwork, exhaustion, and well being care prices as they negotiate their contract. The pilots’ contracts are excellent at American and Southwest, too.


Members of United Academics of Los Angeles have been working underneath an expired contract since June. They’re pushing for a 20 p.c elevate over two years, smaller courses, and fewer standardized testing.

The 30,000 academics on the nation’s second-largest college district struck for 9 days in 2019, successful class-size reductions and a dedication from the district to supply a nurse in each college and a librarian in all center and excessive colleges.

In New York Metropolis, the nation’s largest college district, 110,000 educators are additionally working underneath an expired contract.

In the meantime, 3,700 academics in Portland, Oregon, are gearing up for a serious contract mobilization; their settlement expires in June.

Different Expired Contracts

The 22,000 Longshore (ILWU) union members at West Coast ports are working underneath a contract that expired in July. Points embody jurisdiction, wages, advantages, and automation.

NewsGuild members on the New York Instances staged a one-day strike December 8; their contract has been expired since March 2021.

First Contract Fights

Among the largest fights in 2023 are more likely to be round first contracts. That features the 7,000 Starbucks staff who’ve voted to unionize, in addition to staff at Dealer Joe’s, REI, and Amazon.

Have a contract expiring in 2023 (or 2024) you wish to inform us about? Write to

A model of this text appeared in Labor Notes #526, January 2023. Don’t miss a difficulty, subscribe today.