The Upsurge

The Upsurge is a podcast about UPS, the Teamsters & the future of the American labor movement, produced in partnership with In These Times. On July 31, the labor contract of 350,000 UPS workers will expire, and if their demands aren't met in a new collective bargaining agreement, they may launch one of the largest strikes in U.S. history. The contract fight by the Teamsters union, which represents the workers, may be the most important fight for the labor movement in a generation. Through interviews with UPS workers themselves, as well as experts and other workers and activists, The Upsurge explores what makes this an unprecedented moment in U.S. history. Please become a patron to keep this show going. The show is hosted by Teddy Ostrow, a labor reporter from Brooklyn. It is produced by NYGP with the help of audio producer Ruby Walsh. Your patronage will help support Teddy, Ruby, and NYGP editor Sabrina Kessler, in addition to production overhead.

January 19, 2023 1:00:02
Episode 1 : The Never-ending Peak
On August 1, 2023, there's a chance Antoine Andrews won't show up to work. He won't step foot in the... more
February 2, 2023 46:47
Episode 2: 1997: The Last Strike of a Generation
In 1997, Rand Wilson was in the war room. Though his opponent didn't really know that a war was afoot... more
February 23, 2023 28:55
Episode 3: Inside Part-Time America
Elbe Lieb is a UPS worker in Bloomington, Indiana, but you wouldn’t know she worked for the company if you... more
March 9, 2023 15:38
BONUS: Turning up the heat — on UPS
It was a brutally hot day in New York City last summer for Chris Cappadona, a UPS package car driver... more
March 16, 2023 37:11
Episode 4: Inside the Two-Tier: A Cancer in the Union
Justin Alo looks and sounds like your friendly, everyday UPS delivery driver in San Marcos, California. He drives the brown... more
April 6, 2023 44:54
Episode 5: Is This The Upsurge?
Things are shifting for the labor movement in the US. In the past few years, we've seen increases in unionization... more
April 27, 2023 35:19
Episode 6: Let the Negotiations Begin!
Negotiations on the national labor contract at UPS have begun. And while CEO Carol Tomé has insisted that the company... more
May 18, 2023 41:00
Episode 7: UPS and the Logistics Revolution
The word "logistics'' has somewhat of an impersonal ring to it. When you hear it, you think: massive container ships... more
June 1, 2023 45:01
Bonus Episode: Resisting the UPS Patriarchy
UPS is a patriarchal corporation – on the corporate and labor side. Whether it's sexual harassment or pregnancy discrimination, women... more
June 12, 2023 48:16
Episode 8: The Teamsters Take Amazon
Amazon: The company we hate to love, for its convenient next-day deliveries, and we love to hate, for its egregious... more
June 28, 2023 50:51
Episode 9: UPS Strike, Authorized / The Threads of Labor Militancy
The results are in: 97% of UPS Teamsters voted to authorize a strike if their demands are not met by... more
July 10, 2023 40:59
Episode 10: UPS Strike Imminent? / The Gig is Up!
Negotiations between UPS and the Teamsters have collapsed after disagreement over part-timer wages. With less than a month from contract... more
July 13, 2023 40:59
BONUS: Renewed Militancy at the United Auto Workers
The United Auto Workers' contract negotiations at the Big 3 automakers – Ford, GM, and Stellantis – just began. Their... more
August 10, 2023 38:29
Episode 11: UPS Negotiations Resume. One Week Till Deadline.
With one week till the strike deadline, UPS and the Teamsters have agreed to resume negotiations on July 24. A... more
August 10, 2023 59:48
Episode 12: Teamsters Organizing Delivers the Goods at UPS
UPS Teamsters nationwide are voting on the tentative agreement for the largest private-sector labor contract in the United States. The... more
August 24, 2023 59:48
Episode 13: UPS Contract Ratified. What's Next?
On Tuesday, August 22, the Teamsters union announced that its members voted to ratify the national UPS contract by 86.3%... more
September 7, 2023 59:48
Episode 14: Auto Workers Prepare to Strike the Big 3
The hot labor summer isn’t over yet. In a week’s time, the United Auto Workers may launch a strike of... more
September 29, 2023 36:10
Episode 15: On the UAW Picket Lines
The UAW’s Stand Up Strike is alive and growing. Some 25,000 autoworkers across the Big Three — Ford, GM and... more
Podcast Cover Art

Teddy Ostrow is a journalist from Brooklyn covering labor and economics. He is the host of The Upsurge podcast and his work has appeared in The Nation, The New Republic, and elsewhere. Follow him on Twitter @TeddyOstrow.

Ruby Walsh is an audio producer from Brooklyn. She is a co-producer of The Upsurge podcast and a development producer for Giant Grin LLC. Formerly, she was the associate producer of Moyers on Democracy and wrote for Bill​Moy​ers​.com.