Power to the Package: UPS Workers Secure a Major Win!

Well, folks, it’s a big day for the United Parcel Service (UPS) workers and a huge win for the labor movement!

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters – the powerhouse union that has UPS workers under its wing – has just dropped some exciting news. On Tuesday, they gave a resounding nod to what’s being hailed as “the most historic collective bargaining agreement in UPS’s storied history.” The best part? A potential cataclysmic strike, which had many on edge, has now been successfully dodged.

So, what’s got the Teamsters members so excited? A whopping 86.3% voted in favor of the new contract. And no wonder – it’s packed with some solid goodies: pay bumps for both full-time and part-time warriors, a commitment to conjure up more full-time roles, and – get this – “important workplace protections,” including, wait for it…air conditioning. It’s about time!

Both grassroots members and the leadership of the massive 340,000-strong union echoed the same sentiment, with an almost unanimous thumbs up. Just one leader abstained from the unanimous celebration.

Sean O’Brien, Teamsters general president, didn’t hold back his enthusiasm, declaring, “This contract will transform the lives of hundreds of thousands.” And then came the mic-drop moment: “Nonunion companies like Amazon had better sit up and take notice,” he proclaimed. O’Brien makes it clear – this is the gold standard for how workers should be valued.

Peeling back the layers, here’s what the new contract promises:

  1. A neat $2.75 hourly raise in 2023, accumulating to a whopping $7.50 per hour by the end of the agreement.
  2. Newbies joining UPS on a part-time basis will kick off with $21 an hour. Not too shabby, right?
  3. Enhanced health and safety norms, inclusive of vehicle air conditioning (seriously, about time!) and proper cargo ventilation.
  4. An end to forced overtime on scheduled off days (score!).
  5. Making MLK Day a full holiday (respect!).
  6. A commitment to onboard 7,500 full-time employees.

UPS CEO Carol Tomé seems to echo the win-win-win sentiment, emphasizing a balance that recognizes the hard work of employees while also ensuring the company remains competitive.

But it wasn’t just the UPS family celebrating. Progressive champions and labor advocates took to the social platform formerly known as Twitter to voice their cheer. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) hailed the workers, emphasizing the unmatched strength of unity and collective action. The Democratic Socialists of America pointed to the moment as a beacon for the wider labor movement, while the AFL-CIO underlined the victory as a testament to the tenacity of organized workers.

One clear takeaway? When workers unite and flex their collective muscle, even the most giant corporations have to sit up and take note. Power to the people, and in this case, to the package!