(PresidentialHill.com)- The union representing the drivers and package sorters at United Parcel Service (UPS), the world’s largest package delivery company, could be heading on strike when the current union contract expires next year.
UPS workers are demanding higher wages and better workplace protections following a summer of demands for better equipment to prevent heat-related death and illness inside the trademark brown trucks. And union organizers and labor leaders are preparing for a possible strike.
Approximately 350,000 members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Union are employed as drivers and package sorters at UPS. This would make the possible UPS strike the largest against a single US company in history and would affect virtually every household and business in the country.
The current contract is set to expire in July 2023. Last month, the union kicked off its contract fight with a nationwide “call to action” designed to send UPS the message that “the days of concessions and walking all over our members are over.”
Teamsters president Sean O’Brien, whose vow to put pressure on the shipping giant was a central issue in his campaign, said UPS wouldn’t have its billion-dollar profits without the work of the Teamsters.
O’Brien said the union’s message to UPS is “it’s time our contract reflects the essential work of our members.”
UPS posted record earnings in 2021, with an operating income of over $13 billion. The company’s projected revenue for 2022 is expected to top $100 billion.
While there are several points of contention in the negotiations that could lead to a possible strike, including overtime protection and higher starting wages, it is the lack of air conditioning in the delivery trucks that has put workplace protections into the spotlight, especially after the heat-related death of a 24-year-old driver in Los Angeles in June.