President Letter – UPS Strike Averted
July 26, 2023
July 26, 2023
Dear Flying Partners,
I am writing to you with good news from our fellow Teamsters Union Members at UPS. What could have been one of the biggest labor strikes in U.S. history has likely been averted, thanks to their dedication, unity, and collective strength.
After tough negotiations, Teamsters representatives have reached a tentative agreement with UPS management, which will now be put to a vote by the 340,000 Unionized UPS workers. We stand in Solidarity with them as they take this important step forward, and we extend our full support and encouragement to each and every one of them.
The potential strike among UPS workers was driven by several justifiable factors:
· One major reason was the significant increase in UPS's profits over the past two years, reaching record levels.
· Yet, despite this soaring success, UPS allocated a substantial amount of $8.6 billion on stock buybacks and dividends in 2022, while its CEO received a hefty compensation of $19 million.
· It is only natural for the hardworking employees to yearn for a more substantial share of the success they contributed to.
The tentative agreement they have secured includes crucial improvements:
· It addresses wage increases for all employees, including part-time workers, and does away with the two-tier wage system.
· The deal also ensures that Martin Luther King Jr. Day will be a paid holiday for all workers.
· Moreover, it tackles significant concerns raised by the workers, such as the ban on driver-facing cameras in truck cabs and forced overtime on driver's scheduled days off.
Another important issue that was addressed during negotiations was the lack of air conditioning and fans in delivery trucks, which made conditions grueling for drivers. The agreement ensures that new delivery trucks will be equipped with air conditioning, and existing trucks will receive additional fans and air induction vents to protect drivers from extreme conditions.
UPS is known for its tremendous profitability, especially in the last two years when profits nearly tripled compared to pre-pandemic levels. However, the disparity between the CEO's compensation and the median employee's earnings, which was 354 times higher, highlighted the workers' rightful demand for a more equitable distribution of wealth.
Beyond their fair share of the profits, UPS workers also sought better safety protections on the job, especially considering the challenges and risks they faced during the pandemic. This sentiment resonates with workers across various industries who are frustrated by stagnant wages while corporate executives accumulate significant wealth and power.
We draw inspiration from our fellow workers at UPS and others, including the Writers and Screen Actors Guild members who have gone on strike this year. Together, we are organizing to rebuild worker power and ensure that our collective voices are heard in all industries. When we stand together, united in our cause, we can achieve remarkable outcomes.
Remember, the power of working people far outweighs that of billionaires and CEOs. Let us continue to stand united, and we will be next to make our voices heard. The journey ahead may not be easy, but we are stronger together, and we are determined to fight for the respect and dignity that we all deserve.
Ken Diaz, President
United Master Executive Council
Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO