Episode 9: UPS Strike, Authorized / The Threads of Labor Militancy

0:00 / 50:51
June 28, 2023

The results are in: 97% of UPS Teamsters voted to authorize a strike if their demands are not met by August 1. Local unions around the country will practice picket lines starting next week. The clock is ticking.

For this episode, we've got a two-parter. First, an update on the contract campaign and negotiations, which have moved onto big-ticket economic items this week. UPSers across the nation tell us why they voted in favor of strike authorization. Local 623 secretary-treasurer Richard Hooker Jr. explains how the vote went down and a major tentative agreement: air conditioning in the package car. Greg Kerwood of Local 25 returns to the show to explain why the Teamsters and the broader labor movement need a strike.

Next, long-time organizer and the Executive Director of In These Times Alex Han gives us a crash course on the threads of labor militancy over the past two decades. Alex breaks down the political, social, and organizational legacies of the labor movement between 1997, the last time UPSers struck, and 2023, when they may strike again in much larger numbers. At the center of our conversation: the Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012.

We often hear that COVID-19 pushed workers over the edge, that the widespread death and disease was the viral spark for a new labor upsurge in the United States. But according to Alex, the seeds for this moment were sown over the last twenty years.


Hosted by Teddy Ostrow

Edited by Teddy Ostrow

Produced by NYGP & Ruby Walsh, in partnership with In These Times & The Real News

Music by Casey Gallagher

Cover art by Devlin Claro Resetar


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