UPS Teamsters Rally in NYC to Kick Off Contract Fight
Teamster members at UPS in New York City rallied at the company’s Maspeth, Queens warehouse today to demand raises and job protections. The event organized by Teamsters Local 804 coincides with many similar events across the country as the International Brotherhood of Teamsters — which represents 350,000 full- and part-time UPS workers — launched the UPS Teamsters contract campaign, a one-year effort to inform and mobilize members to win the strongest possible contract at UPS.
Teamsters Local 804 is holding events at 14 UPS facilities in New York City and Long Island this week.
The campaign launch comes one year before the UPS National Master Agreement — the largest collective bargaining agreement in the U.S. — is set to expire on July 31, 2023. UPS Teamsters are united in the fight to end excessive overtime, eliminate the two-tier wage 22.4 job classification, increase part-time pay and the number of full-time jobs, improve job security for feeders and package drivers, address safety and health concerns around heat illness, and provide stronger protection against company harassment. The kick-off of this historic contract fight also coincides with the 25th anniversary of the successful 1997 UPS Teamsters strike, when 185,000 members struck the company.
Beginning this week, and in the weeks and months to come, Teamster representatives and stewards at hundreds of UPS facilities across the country will be conducting site visits and delivering informational resources to UPS Teamsters.
“UPS Teamsters are united and ready to mobilize in the fight for the best contract ever negotiated at UPS,” said Sean M. O’Brien, Teamsters General President. “UPS would not have its billion-dollar profits without hardworking Teamsters. Our message to UPS is that it’s time our contract reflects the essential work of our members. The Teamsters are resolved to win a strong contract by August 1, 2023, and we won’t extend negotiations by a single day. We’ll either have a signed agreement that day or be hitting the pavement.”
UPS Teamsters delivered an unprecedented volume of packages during the pandemic for businesses to run smoothly and families to safely shelter at home, and still continue to work around the clock in 10-12 hour shifts and under punishing conditions like extreme heat. Workers’ dedication to the company drove UPS’s net profits to $11.2 billion in the last two years alone, yet the average UPS worker is paid 600 times less than UPS CEO Carol Tome.
“The essential workers of UPS are ready to fight for the pay and working conditions that we deserve,” said Vinnie Perrone, President of New York’s Teamsters Local 804, International Union Trustee, and Eastern Region Package Director. “UPS is making record profits on our backs, but instead of putting that money into more full-time jobs and safety improvements, they are investing in worker surveillance and stock buybacks. We are united — drivers and inside workers, full-time and part-time — and we are going to win good jobs for the working class in this country.”
“We are going to spend the next year educating each other and building unity, because we need a new contract that holds UPS accountable,” said Domenick DeDomenico, a driver and Teamsters shop steward at UPS. “There is strength in numbers. We are the workers that make UPS its billions and the managers can’t run it without us.”
“I want all the 22.4 guys out here because this is the change that we need,” said Elijah Buckram, a 22.4 driver at UPS. “UPS treats us like discount drivers. We need to show up and take part, because we deserve more.”
Teamsters representatives and stewards in Massachusetts, California, Michigan, New York, and at hundreds of other UPS facilities across the country will help kick off the campaign this week and continue to engage for the next 365 days to ensure members are informed and united.
“I was proud to stand in solidarity with the UPS drivers of Teamsters Local 804 who rallied this morning in New York City,” said Congressman Jamaal Bowman Ed.D (NY-16). “The work that UPS drivers do is essential to the functioning and well-being of our society. UPS made $10 billion in after-tax profits last year and needs to do right by their workers. There’s no excuse for the company to have a two-tier system of workers, to force drivers to work excessive overtime, and to fail to protect workers from extreme heat. UPS must be held accountable to its workers at the bargaining table.”
“I stand in solidarity with workers at Teamsters Local 804 and across the country as they fight this UPS contract campaign,” said Assemblymember Zohran K. Mamdani. “As UPS rakes in record profits on the backs of workers, the least they can do is to ensure safety, dignity, and fair pay. I applaud the strength and courage of Local 804 members to stand together despite the company’s efforts to keep workers divided.”