UPS Profitable In Tough Economy

March 2, 2009: UPS continues to haul in substantial profits despite the worst economy in 70 years.

Brown made $829 million from October to December 2008, according to fourth quarter financial numbers released by the company. Revenue went up 3.6 percent in 2008 to $51.5 billion. For the full year, UPS made an operating profit of $5.4 billion and after-tax profits of $3 billion.

The U.S. package operation alone made an operating profit of $932 million in the fourth quarter. International package made $366 million in profit. UPS Freight also made money despite the terrible conditions in the freight industry.

UPS Freight and the company’s logistics operations made $53 million in profit, before they took a write-off of $549 million for “goodwill impairment.” Impairment charges are an accounting write-off that allows a corporation to write off profits based on the falling value of its name or “goodwill.”

Declining Volume and Full-Time Job Creation

In the fourth quarter, total U.S. package volume fell by 4.4 percent. Ground volume was down 3.7 percent and Next Day Air volume dropped by 10.1 percent.

The company is using the drop in volume to try to justify its elimination of full-time jobs in violation of Article 22.3 of our contract. But management doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

UPS made the same claim after the 1997 strike. An arbitrator explicitly rejected management’s argument and ordered the company to create 22.3 full-time jobs regardless of volume.


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