Why UPS Workers Were Ready to Strike

Image of striking UPS workers.

Image by Joe Piette.

Richard Hooker has worked at the United Parcel Service (UPS) for over twenty years and after long, sweltering shifts spent at the warehouse, sweat burning his eyes, his limbs feeling like they’ve been filled with concrete, he would just sit in his car, unable to drive home.

“You’re physically drained, you’re mentally drained from moving packages all day, non-stop,” he explained, “And you need to take a nap cause you’re too scared you’ll fall asleep when driving home.”

Hooker, now a union leader for Teamsters Local 623 which represents over 5,000 workers at both facilities in Philadelphia, is part of a broader Teamsters campaign to address many of the lingering issues impacting workers at the company, from conditions inside the warehouses and trucks to pay for part-time employees and drivers.

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Sudip Bhattacharya serves as a co-chair of the Political Education Committee at Central Jersey DSA and is a writer based in New Jersey, having been published in Current Affairs, Cosmonaut, New Politics, Reappropriate, and The Aerogram, among other outlets. Prior to pursuing a PhD in Political Science at Rutgers University, he had worked full-time as a reporter across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

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