individual stories

UPS workers shot: Interview with UPS worker

Yesterday, a UPS worker in San Francisco shot and killed several of his co-workers. Here, we interview a worker who works on the UPS docks about conditions on the job and the lack of a union presence. In the interview, we identified the apparent shooter as a driver, but on review it’s not clear if he was a driver or a worker on the dock. Please see the comment below. We encourage other UPS workers to add their experience.
Also, please note that Joe, who’s interviewed says he got the pay for drivers wrong in the interview, and he apologizes for that mistake. He says starting pay for drivers is around $28/hour.

For those interested in more articles on the state of the labor movement, please look here:
https://oaklandsocialist.com/category/labor/

Categories: individual stories, labor

3 replies »

  1. I work at UPS also. This interview is spot-on! Stewards and sups are all buddy-buddy. At my hub, the union can’t even conduct business in the building. I’m in WI and it’s real fun in the winter to have to deal with union stuff like steward elections, DRIVE sign-ups, etc.out in the parking lot. Also, I work Night Sort, so they’re almost only there before the sort–you want to get in the building and get your day started. Once in a blue moon, they’ll be there at the end of Night Sort. It’s not bad for the other sorts that the reps are there at the END of the shift. And speaking of DRIVE, they seem to spend a lot of time pushing that programme. And there’s no information for steward elections–the one we had a few weeks ago (actually at the end of Night Sort), there were about 6 or 7 candidates, and I knew only 3. When I was doing the ballot (out in the parking lot) I didn’t have a clue who most of these people were, and one of the reps said, “oh, so-and-so, she’s nice”. I don’t want “nice”, I want someone who’s going to know the contract, know my rights, be accessible, be available. Oh, and speaking of “available” and “accessible”, I just love being told by a sup that I can get my steward “after the sort”. Seeing as how UPS doesn’t have real set end times, by the time the sort ends for YOU, the stewards might be all gone for the day.

    • SMH in WI, thank you. Since I work in freight, it’s interesting to hear what your experiences have been in package (I assume since you mention hub). As with my shift, which is sunrise, our shop steward is only available at the end of mine just as yours seems to be. It’s ridiculous. There are some folks who don’t even know what local we’re in, or what the union really does. I will say that the Teamsters are good about bringing individuals back on the job, but apart from that, they often don’t even know when the meetings or held or why they should take their only day off to check one out.

      This culture of laziness is almost purposeful; by not having an active and militant rank and file, it prevents them from knowing or exercising their basic rights as union members and therefore keep the steward’s job as easy as possible. I think there needs to be an informal network of other union UPS workers so we can start exchanging experiences and figure out ways of moving forward together, united.

      Solidarity,

      Joe (from the interview)

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