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UPS Workers Set for Largest U.S. Strike in 60 Years

July 25, 2023 | By Kali Girl

According to CBS News, thousands of part-time employees at UPS are advocating for increased wages as contract negotiations between the delivery giant and the Teamsters union, representing 340,000 UPS workers, are set to recommence this week.

Presently, part-time workers at UPS receive a starting wage of $16.20 per hour, as disclosed by the company. UPS highlights that after 30 days of employment, part-time employees earn an average of $20 per hour and receive the same healthcare and pension benefits as their full-time counterparts.

Nonetheless, many part-time workers argue that this starting pay falls significantly below what full-time UPS employees earn for performing identical job roles.

While specific details of the latest pay proposals have not been disclosed by either the union or UPS, certain workers are advocating for a starting wage of $25 per hour – an amount equal to what they were paid in 1983 when adjusting for inflation.

“I don’t think it’s asking anything crazy to have equal pay, doing the same jobs as full-timers inside the building,” said Jason Flynn, a part-time UPS package sorter.

“I have to constantly make up the money elsewhere,” the 32-year-old told CBS MoneyWatch. “I’ve been in near-poverty for a long time…. I would bike 40 minutes each way to work instead of taking the train,” adding, “I haven’t paid my rent yet this month.” 

Full-time workers, primarily delivery truck drivers, may earn over $95,000 annually amidst workforce challenges. While some employees face extreme heat on the job, a minority of the workforce enjoys high earnings.

Anticipating a potential strike, the Teamsters have been conducting practice pickets and advising members to build financial reserves.

Jose Francisco Negrete, a part-time package sorter told CBS MoneyWatch that he started saving last year, putting away $55 with every paycheck.

“Probably around September, I said, you know what, if I need to take out money for an emergency I will, but I’m not going to touch it. I’ve been telling members to save as well. If we do strike, we need to be prepared.”

If an agreement is not reached by July 31, the union has pledged to initiate a massive strike, marking the largest such labor action in the United States in six decades.

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