UPS Workers Vote to Authorize a Strike

A UPS Teamster contract rally in New York City. Image source: Matt Leichenger via The Real News Network

The contract between the Teamsters Union (IBT) and UPS expires July 31. UPS workers have been voting for the last ten days to authorize the union leaders to call a strike if no tentative agreement is reached by July 31. According to the union, the strike vote was approved by 97 percent of those who voted. But the union has not yet released the total number of workers who voted, which of course is an important number to know.

UPS is an enormous company. In 2022 its revenue reached $100 billion and profits soared to $11.3 billion. There is no doubt that UPS has enough money to afford to make concessions to its over 340,000 workers. UPS has increased its revenue over the years on the backs of workers, who have many grievances against the company, including forced overtime, low wages for part-timers and new hires, unsafe working conditions, unreasonable workloads, and more.

The grievances of UPS workers are similar to those of many workers across the country and in many industries. UPS workers, spread throughout the country, and representing the largest number of unionized workers for any single private company, have an enormous power if they are able to organize and use it. If UPS workers do go out on strike in big numbers, their struggle can be an example for workers all over, who are experiencing similar conditions of exploitation.