Atlanta DSA Stands in Solidarity with Rank-and-File UPS Teamsters
For over a year, UPS Teamsters have been prepping for the largest private-sector contract fight this country has seen in decades – saving money for personal strike funds, signing pledge cards, and in more recent weeks, organizing practice pickets in the early morning hours outside of UPS facilities. UPS, meanwhile, repeatedly delayed the bargaining process by failing to come to the table in good faith and presenting workers with an inadequate contract. Following broken down negotiations mid-July, thousands of Teamsters and community supporters flocked to practice picket lines and began to seriously accelerate preparations for a nationwide strike.
After weeks of coordinated practice pickets and the increasing fear of a work stoppage, UPS was convinced to return to the bargaining table. On Tuesday July 25th, the Teamsters national negotiating committee announced a tentative agreement with UPS, subject to a vote of its membership which will begin August 3 and last until August 22. DSA stands in unflinching solidarity with the 350,000 UPS Teamsters whose tireless militancy gave their negotiating committee strong leverage throughout this fight.
Despite the narrative pushed by corporate media that the deal is entirely sealed, approval of this tentative agreement is entirely up to the rank-and-file to vote on, and Atlanta DSA commits to stand with workers no matter the outcome of this vote. The gains made in this tentative deal were only possible because of years of hard work and rank-and-file organizing on the ground, and the credible threat of a strike that would cost the company billions. Contrary to UPS’s narrative, it was worker power – not corporate benevolence – that forced UPS’s hands in making significant concessions like ending the two-tier wage system, protecting against forced overtime, securing air conditioning in delivery trucks, making MLK day a paid holiday, and more. Workers bravely organized to withhold their labor, hold down picket lines, and build meaningful community support for their efforts. For this all UPS Teamsters should be extremely proud, and we are proud to stand in solidarity with them through the duration of this fight until the last vote is cast and beyond!
Under capitalism, major companies like UPS are incentivized to maximize profits at all costs, at the expense of human safety and dignity. Both part-time and full-time UPS workers bore the brunt of the pandemic – risking their own lives to deliver essential medication and other goods to working people and families around the country. These workers on the front lines are the reason UPS brought in record breaking profits of $10 billion in 2021, and still, because of corporate greed, UPS CEO Carol Tomé takes home a larger salary in one day than the average UPS worker earns an entire year. DSA will always stand with workers fighting back against injustice and demanding their fair share — no matter whether Teamsters vote to accept or reject their TA. The UPS Teamsters have run a militant, fighting campaign that left a major company shaking in its boots. Their organizing will inspire workers everywhere to continue building power and resistance through their leverage to withhold their labor. Solidarity forever – when workers fight, we win!