UPS Labor Battle Focuses on Part-Time Workers

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ATLANTA: While Teamsters president Ron Carey is trying to revive UPS strike negotiations, look for a lively national debate over the use of part-time employees to do full-time work. TIME's Bruce Van Voorst notes that though UPS's 24-hour business is one that can effectively use part-timers, some UPS part-timers actually work two part-time shifts hours that add up to more than a full-time gig. That, needless to say, saves the company a considerable amount in wages and benefits.

Although UPS also is willing to return to bargaining, CEO James Kelly warned that the company will not budge on its "last, best offer."Teamsters complain that the company is being greedy at the expense of the workers, having made more than $1 billion in profits last year. If the Teamsters can't swallow UPS's offer, they may want to litigate: Two weeks ago, a federal appeals court ruled hundreds of Microsoft freelancers have a right to full-time benefits including a 401k plan and stock options.