Aircraft mechanics make up a relatively small portion of the company’s workforce of over 500,000 people. Of the approximately 1,700 maintenance technicians and related employees who work on the company’s jets, hundreds work at the company’s air hub in Louisville and about 40 work in Atlanta.
It is separate from the massive Teamsters contract covering around 350,000 drivers, parcel handlers and other workers. The Teamsters have threatened the possibility of a strike by UPS package division workers, although negotiations are not expected to begin until next year.
Aircraft mechanics are under separate contracts and, as part of the airline industry, are governed by different labor laws than the rest of UPS workers.
Labor relations for airline workers, including UPS aircraft mechanics, are governed by the Railway Labor Act – which covers both airlines and railways that are essential to the nation’s transportation infrastructure and is more restrictive on the ability to strike than the national labor relations law. These restrictions may make unions more likely to accept a deal, as railroad unions just did to avoid a nationwide strike, and as the aircraft mechanics union UPS did.