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UPS strike drags on

August 12, 1997
Web posted at: 12:15 p.m. EDT (1615 GMT)
Strikers rally

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- No new talks were planned Tuesday between the United Parcel Service and striking Teamsters, though Labor Secretary Alexis Herman expressed optimism she could get both sides back into negotiations.

Herman, who met separately with both sides Monday, briefed President Clinton on the UPS strike as the two flew to St. Louis for a presidential speech, the White House said.

"They both recognize there is much at stake for the workers, for the company and for the American people," Herman told reporters after arriving in St. Louis. "So when you put it all together, I have to believe that there is more of a willingness to at least seek some kind of resolution."

The striking Teamsters Union and UPS scheduled separate Washington news conferences Tuesday as the nine-day-old strike continued with no end in sight.

Herman described the conversations she had with the two sides Monday as "candid, wide-ranging and useful."

"I made it clear that everyone involved must show greater flexibility and willingness to compromise," Herman said.

Teamsters President Ron Carey told reporters after his meeting with Herman that he was ready to go back to the bargaining table, but only for serious negotiations.

Long lines at post office

UPS negotiator Dave Murray said the firm was not changing its contract offer despite Herman's calls for flexibility.

Federally mediated talks broke off Saturday. Despite that, UPS driver Hank Marinelli -- who has worked for the company for 39 years -- was upbeat about his situation.

On a picket line in New York City, Marinelli told CNN he works "for a very good company" and belongs to "a very good union."

Strike Reaction
icon Dave Murray - UPS Chief Negotiator
256 K/10 sec. AIFF or WAV sound

Gaye Williams - Teamsters Union
416 K/19 sec. AIFF or WAV sound

Hank Marinelli - Striking UPS employee
512 K/22 sec. AIFF or WAV sound

Also Tuesday:

  • The AFL-CIO, a confederation of 78 labor unions, was scheduled to announce its financial support for the strikers. Beginning Thursday, the cash-strapped Teamsters will owe some 185,000 strikers $55 each in weekly strike benefits.

  • A full-page UPS ad placed in several newspapers called on the Teamsters union to put the company's latest contract offer to a vote.

    The Teamsters say their members, by going on strike on the first place, have already given their reaction to the contract offer.

    UPS estimates 7,000 union members have crossed picket lines, a number the Teamsters say is greatly exaggerated.

  • The postal service said Sunday deliveries helped clear away most of the backlog caused by the UPS strike.

  • The postal service also said that because of the strike, volume at its 21 bulk mail centers across the country has increased 70 percent for express mail, 50 percent for priority mail and 20 percent for parcel post.

Correspondents Carl Rochelle and Gary Tuchman contributed to this report.

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