Episode 12: Teamsters Organizing Delivers the Goods at UPS

0:00 / 59:48
August 10, 2023

UPS Teamsters nationwide are voting on the tentative agreement for the largest private-sector labor contract in the United States. The vote will end on August 22. A majority decision will determine whether the contract is ratified, or the national negotiating committee will return to the bargaining table and potentially call a strike.

In this episode, we explore the highlights of the tentative agreement and what its gains, such as the abolition of the driver two-tier and substantial wage increases, mean for workers' lives. We also dig into how the TA is proof that years of Teamsters organizing, including the past year's contract campaign, have reaped significant concessions from the company — something workers and other unions are already taking note of.

Lastly, we discuss why raised member expectations, the COVID pandemic, and unsustainable costs of living have left some Teamsters disappointed with the current tentative agreement — and why this may actually be encouraging.

You'll hear from two guests: Sean Orr is a UPS package car driver and elected shop steward out of Teamsters Local 705 in Chicago. He is also co-chair of the International Steering Committee of Teamsters for a Democratic Union. Al Bradbury is the editor of Labor Notes, which is a media and organizing project that has been empowering rank and file workers to put the "movement" back in the labor movement since 1979.


Hosted by Teddy Ostrow

Edited by Teddy Ostrow and Ruby Walsh

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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Read about the AT&T strike by 675,000 workers in 1983. Also check out the description for the 2024 Labor Notes Conference.

Also hear Teddy talk about corporate media coverage of the UPS/Teamsters tentative agreement on FAIR's podcast, CounterSpin.