2022 was the yr of quiet quitting (which, let’s be actual, was simply folks taking again work/life stability and probably not “quitting” in any significant sense of the phrase). However in 2023, labor unions are on the rise. Between the writers and actors strikes in Hollywood, a possible United Auto Employees union strike on the horizon, and different strikes across the US, some have dubbed these previous couple of months “Sizzling Labor Summer season.”
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It isn’t onerous to see why organized labor is having such a second. Costs on principally the whole lot have been going up, however for the typical particular person, wages have not risen accordingly. Plus, low unemployment charges imply that staff have extra leverage on this second to demand higher circumstances and higher pay. And for a lot of staff, this has been a very long time coming.
Considered one of this yr’s greatest labor tales was the historic contract the Teamsters negotiated for staff at UPS, averting a strike. UPS reportedly stated that this five-year contract will end result within the common driver making about $170k a yr, a determine that is led to some on-line chatter from folks claiming UPS drivers are being overpaid.
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However that is not the entire image, and not too long ago, 33-year-old UPS driver Skyler Stutzman went viral on TikTok for the way in which he defined what this deal really means for drivers. In a video that is been seen over 18 million occasions, Skyler says, “$170,000 a yr is a little bit of an exaggeration right here, however let me break it down for you. Now, I do not find out about you, however I like factual info. So I will do my greatest to simply be clear concerning the wages that we make.”
Talking earlier than the brand new contract was voted on, Skyler defined, “Underneath present contract, our wage is $41.51 an hour. Now this contract that has been seen over social media, as soon as that contract ratified, which is within the voting course of proper now, we’ll be making $44.26 an hour. Now, for those who do some fast math right here, for those who had been to take $44.26 an hour occasions 2,080 hours, which is 40 hours every week, that comes out to about $92,000 a yr, however that is not together with additional time, and it is also not the necessary half that we’re lacking right here.”
Skyler continued by explaining how the medical insurance coverage and pension he receives as a driver add as much as this complete. “Now our pension, do not quote me, nevertheless it’s roughly someplace between $11 and $13 per hour that is paid into our pension on the 2080 hours, which comes out roughly about $25,000 a yr. Now, you possibly can determine the medical insurance coverage at no matter you need, however you possibly can shortly see that it might really take about $170,000 a yr job to switch this one for me. Now, whereas the media is making it somewhat extra profound than it truly is, they’re actually not that far off of how wonderful it’s to work for this firm.”
Principally, the $170k quantity represents complete compensation, which is a vital factor to consider while you’re your pay or evaluating salaries. With no sturdy advantages package deal, you possibly can find yourself in a scenario the place you make extra on paper than you really find yourself holding on to after shelling out for requirements like medical insurance.
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Watch the entire video right here:
@skylerleestutzman / Through tiktok.com
Many of the prime commenters had been supportive of Skyler’s message and actually appreciated the transparency. One commenter wrote, “Individuals, get mad on the companies, hospitals, and companies which are UNDERPAYING, not at an worker who has a dwelling wage now.”
One other commenter chimed in, “For those who’re making much less in one other subject and upset, do not deliver these staff down, discover out why your subject is not prepared to give you a livable wage!”
Different commenters referenced the less-publicized proven fact that the brand new UPS deal will even make air con in UPS vans a requirement for the primary time after greater than 100 UPS staff have been hospitalized for heat-related sickness in the previous few years. (I genuinely cannot imagine UPS staff have been driving round within the warmth with out AC within the yr 2023).
Some gently roasted UPS drivers, like this one that wrote, “$90k I might count on my package deal to be on time and delivered to my door and never the neighbors.”
Some fellow UPS staff additionally identified that the $170k determine would not apply to everybody. One particular person wrote, “I am a loader at UPS. I make $19.20 per hour and solely get 4.5 hours a day. There’s a HUGE disparity between drivers and everybody else.”
And others praised the facility of unions and half-jokingly requested somewhat little bit of assist. One commenter wrote, “Can the UPS union come assist out instructor unions?”
One other commenter added, “The one purpose why it is wonderful to work for UPS is the union. Which fights in opposition to company executives and in opposition to the shareholders.”
Whereas others rightfully identified that delivering packages is a lot more durable than it appears (Most jobs are, TBH). As somebody who frequently misplaced my mood whereas doing a lot lighter meals supply shifts, sure, this totally checks out. Driving all day is tiring and will be harmful at occasions, to not point out the heavy lifting concerned in some UPS deliveries. And to do all that with out air con on this warmth? I would not final an hour.
There have been additionally fairly a number of commenters who favored seeing that Skyler confirmed himself clocking out to make the video, then clocking again in when he was accomplished. For those who’re gonna submit about work on social media, it is a nice option to do it.
However some commenters weren’t so comfortable to find out about how a lot UPS drivers make. One commenter wrote, “I am sorry, that is ridiculous. Most RNs [registered nurses] do not make that a lot.” In a video made in response, Skyler stated, “I by no means stated that I ought to make greater than anyone within the medical business. Now, this could be somewhat little bit of an unpopular opinion, however I do not suppose I ought to make much less. I believe they need to make extra.”
@skylerleestutzman / Through tiktok.com
Skyler advised BuzzFeed that he is been working for UPS since 2008, and in one other video he stated, “I’ve really been with the corporate for 15 years now. And to have the ability to say that at such a younger age, I really feel very blessed.”
In a press release, Teamsters Normal President Sean M. O’Brien stated of the deal, “Teamsters have set a brand new customary and raised the bar for pay, advantages, and dealing circumstances within the package deal supply business. That is the template for the way staff must be paid and guarded nationwide, and nonunion corporations like Amazon higher concentrate.”