Marathon talks continue between UPS, Teamsters
August 15, 1997
Web posted at: 10:04 p.m. EDT (0204 GMT)
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Talks between the Teamsters union and United Parcel Service continued into the night Friday, though there were no reports of progress toward ending the 12-day strike that has snarled package delivery across the United States.
Talks began at about 8 a.m. EDT (1200 GMT) at a Hyatt hotel in Washington, located across the street from Teamsters headquarters. At mid-afternoon, Teamsters President Ron Carey came across the street to brief reporters, saying, "There are no agreements that have been reached."
Earlier, a spokesperson for Labor Secretary Alexis Herman, who brought both sides to the table for this latest round of talks, seemed more optimistic.
"They are redoubling their efforts to reach an agreement," said Susan King. "They are really talking. They are really serious."
Union announces 'coordinated action day'
Carey, touting a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll showing the public supports the strikers over the company by better than a 2-to-1 margin, announced new initiatives that the union will undertake to build on that momentum.
"I've never seen so much support -- public support -- for workers who are fighting against corporate greed," Carey said. "The Teamster fight for good full-time jobs has become America's fight as well."
Next Thursday, the Teamsters are planning a "coordinated action day," with rallies in 30 cities around the United States.
"This action day will tell big corporations all across America that we've had enough of their part-timing, their subcontracting, their pension stealing and their downsizing," he said.
European UPS union leaders to meet
Carey also announced that officials of European labor unions representing UPS workers in Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Germany would be meeting in Brussels "to develop a plan to escalate the support for UPS workers in the United States." He gave no details.
Sources inside UPS told CNN that the company believes Carey's remarks violated an agreement not to talk to the media while this latest round of negotiations was occurring.
Carey said he only agreed not to discuss the specifics of the negotiations, which he did not do.
"I don't think I've ever agreed to tone down what I have to say," he said.
The latest talks followed what government officials said was a "substantive and detailed" 16-hour session that lasted most of Thursday until breaking off early Friday morning to give both sides time to rest.
The walkout by 185,000 Teamsters is costing the company $200 million to $300 million a week in lost business, and the union is now paying out about $10 million a week in strike benefits.
The main sticking points between the two sides are the union's demand that the company use fewer part-time and more full-time workers, and the company's desire to pull out of the Teamsters multi-employer pension fund.