October 18, 2006. On Aug. 31, UPS’s 2,775 pilots narrowly ratified an eight-year contract which will give them immediate raises of 18 to 26 percent. The contract was ratified with 56 percent voting yes. UPS pilots belong to the Independent Pilots Association. They were in the Teamsters but left in the 1980s to form the IPA.
UPS pilots got a 29 percent raise over the life of their last seven-year contract. For the new contract, the union set its sights on winning an industry-leading agreement, given UPS’s excellent financial position.
Many pilots hoped to match a contract for Ohio-based cargo carrier ABX Air. Senior pilots for that carrier are paid a rate of $239 per flying hour (UPS pilots were previously at $190 per hour) and pilots with similar seniority at FedEx are paid $201 per hour (before their new contract).
Prior to this new contract, UPS pilots made an average of $175,000 per year.
In July, Brian Gaudet, a spokesman for the International Pilots Association, said that UPS pilots were looking at ABX’s $239 hourly rate as a benchmark in their own negotiations.
“We’re looking at that $239 rate, and FedEx is looking at it and every other major cargo pilots union is looking at it,” Gaudet said.
The new contract includes signing bonuses—UPS captains will get a bonus of $60,000, first officers $40,000, and second officers $34,000.