Support for strike action at UPS as Teamsters union prepares sell-out contract
29 May 2018
Mass support for strike action is growing among workers at United Parcel Service (UPS), where the current contract with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) covering 280,000 hourly workers is set to expire on August 1. A strike authorization, which is being held through June 3, is widely expected to provide an overwhelming “yes” vote.
The impending struggle at one of the largest private employers in the United States, with 434,000 workers, comes in the midst of a resurgence of the class struggle in the United States, where man-hours lost due to strikes have already eclipsed totals from all of last year.
Strikes by teachers, which acquired mass support throughout the country and internationally, particularly after teachers rebelled against the attempts by the unions to shut them down, point to the potential that exists for a broader struggle. Approximately 200,000 US Postal Service workers in the American Postal Workers Union also face the expiration of their national contract on September 20.
UPS workers confront as an enemy not only the company, but the Teamsters union. The union bureaucracy, headed by James Hoffa, son of former president Jimmy Hoffa, is working hand-in-glove with UPS through secret contract talks to impose massive givebacks. Leaks from the Teamsters negotiating committee revealed that the union has proposed the creation of a lower-paid second tier of package delivery drivers, who would start out at only $15 an hour, a fraction of the current rate.
According to the Wall Street Journal, these “hybrid” drivers would be scheduled Sunday through Thursday or Tuesday through Saturday to avoid weekend overtime rates currently paid to…