For a moment that was truly emblematic of the fear that robots will steal jobs from humans, the Teamsters labor union demanded that UPS not use drones or driverless trucks as a major contract negotiation between the union and the company.
UPS has reportedly been testing out the tech the Teamsters want banned. This one of the negotiating points up for debate according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.
The logistics company confirmed that this was one of the details of the proposal by the Teamsters, reported CNBC. The standing agreement will have an impact on 260,000 full time and part-time employees of UPS. It expires in July.
“UPS is focused on a contract that provides the flexibility needed to remain highly competitive, given the challenge of an increasingly crowded logistics segment,” the company stated to CNBC.
UPS must walk the line between the demands of the Teamsters and the evolving logistics industry since the two sides came to an agreement in 2013.
In an 83 page document the union gave UPS recently, other demands include bringing 10,000 workers on board, and pausing deliveries after 9 p.m., including the during the peak-delivery holiday season of November and December. UPS reports hiring 40,000 more Teamsters workers in the U.S. in the last half decade.
This negotiation emerges while the delivery space is evolving and volatile with one-touch apps and major e-commerce stores developing premium, high tech fulfillment services. UPS, Fedex, and the United States Postal Service all find themselves with more business, and more competition as smaller entities also compete for the opportunities in the business of making deliveries.