Teamsters and UPS Reach Tentative Agreement, Potentially Avoiding Strike - The Wednesday AM Quickie 7/26/23

I'm finally seeing Oppenheimer today. I wanted to see Barbie too, but my wife didn't :(- Robert

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UPS and Teamsters Reach Agreement, Draws Mixed Reaction

One of the biggest single-employer strikes in U.S. history has been averted, for now, as UPS and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters reached a tentative agreement on Tuesday, reports the Washington Post. White House aides were in touch with both management and the Teamsters to push them to reach a deal, which union members will vote on August 3rd.

Here are some highlights of the potential five-year contract:

  • New air conditioning units in every new delivery van by 2024, but not old vans
  • Across the board $2.75/hr raise in first year, $7.50/hr over next five years
  • Part-time workers starting pay raised to $21/hr from $16.20/hr
  • End of two-tier pay, where more veteran workers are on a different scale than new hires
  • End 0f forced six-day work weeks

Union leadership and management are both touting the deal. Teamsters President Sean O'Brien called it the "best contract in the history of UPS," with UPS CEO Carol Tomé saying it "continues to reward UPS's full- and part-time employees with industry-leading pay and benefits while retaining the flexibility we need ot remain competitive."

Many workers are excited about the deal and others were waiting to see the legal text of the agreement, which has yet to be released, to make an assessment. However, not all the workers are thrilled with what they know so far, specifically part-time workers, per the Post:

“I’m part of a group of part-timers who think a $25 an hour [starting wage] is fair,” said Peter Lyngso, a warehouse employee in Chicago who makes $18 an hour. “This is physically brutal work. We’ve sacrificed so much. But, working this job, it feels like the good parts of life — like going out to dinner and taking a vacation — aren’t meant for us. I’m prepared to vote no.”

Another part-timer told the Payday report:

“If I still can’t get full-time status with 24 years seniority, that’s a problem,” Virginia-based UPS part-timer Zach Callahan...“I’m in a precarious position because I need the 40+ hours I get, but since I’m part-time, I’m only guaranteed 3 hours a day. Now it will be 3.5, which is still weak. They can always cut my hours without notice.”

The contract would convert 2,500 fewer part-time workers to full-time than were converted during the 1997 UPS strike, leaving 180,000 part-timers, many essentially working full-time hours, in a precarious position, per the Payday report.

Negotiations had broken down earlier in the month over part-timer pay, and despite gains from the Teamsters, many feel short-changed. We'll know the depth of opposition when workers take their votes. If the deal is voted down, a strike would be back on the table.

DeSantis Fires Nazi Staffer Along with Third of Team

One underrated quality about fascists is that they're often very stupid. Such is the case for Nate Hochman, a speechwriter for the DeSantis presidential campaign (and former writer for the National Review), who retweeted a video including an image of Ron Desantis haloed with a Black Sun, a Nazi symbol, turns out to have made it too, according to Axios. It seems more likely than not that Hochman is behind the homophobic attack ad sent from a DeSantis campaign sock-puppet account as well. Did he not think people might put two and two together? Hochman's axing comes as DeSantis fired a third of his campaign, part of "aggressive" steps to "streamline operations," according to Politico. Another way to say this is that the campaign is bleeding money, and was, and likely still is, infested with hyper-online fascist dweebs like Hochman.

Trans Patients Sue Hospital For Turning Over Their Health Records to Law Enforcement

Two patients of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center transgender clinic in Nashville are suing the hospital for turning over their private medical records to Tennessee's Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti, according to NBC News. One hundred patients had their medical records released to Skrmetti, "including names of everyone referred to the transgender clinic who made at least one visit, as well as, people who volunteer in the hospital's Trans Buddy initiative." The AG's office asserts that the records request was part of a "routine" fraud investigation involving an allegation that a Vanderbilt doctor was trying to evade coverage limits on gender-related treatments. It seems very odd to me that the AG would need to know volunteers' names for that purpose. Conservative propagandist Matt Walsh had released edited videos showing a Vanderbilt doctor claiming gender-affirming was "a big money maker" and disparaged the "Trans Buddies" program, stirring up a firestorm from Republican politicians in the state, according to Tennessee Lookout.

Do I think Tennessee Republicans are above weaponizing the attorney general's office based on content from conspiracy theorist and "transphobe of the year" Matt Walsh? No. No, I do not.


  • Texas A&M Professor Suspended for Criticizing Texas Lt. Governor Lt. Governor Dan Patrick's chief of staff was involved in decision on her suspension. via Salon.
  • British Billionaire Charged with Insider Trading Joe Lewis, 86, is charged with alerting associates and romantic interests about companies he was invested in with non-public information, and lending them hundreds of thousands to trade on the information. via the Financial Times.
  • Guam Residents Don't Want $1.5 Billion Defense System Locals fear the air and missile defense architecture will make Guam a target for attack. via the Guardian.
  • Wind Developers Demand More Subsidies and Hire Rates After Receiving Government Grants Man Many firms are backing out of agreements and resubmitting for new ones, but experts are questioning if they're withdrawing because projects are nonviable or they think they can get better deals for them. (Side note: Lee Harris is a climate and industrial policy reporter you should follow). via the American Prospect.
  • Education Department Opens Probe on Harvard Legacy Admissions Harvard could just do the right thing and end legacy admissions now. via AlJazeera.
  • Winery to Pay Over $300,000 to Every Worker in Settlement Mauritson Farms retaliated against a crew of employees for organizing and speaking out against unsafe working conditions. via KQED.



Continuing our third straight week of counting, that's how many consecutive days Phoenix has experienced temperatures of over 110 degrees Fahrenheit, as of yesterday. Will the streak continue into August? via USA Today.


7/26: It's Hump Day! Sam and Emma speak with Luis Feliz Leon, staff writer at Labor Notes, and Alicia Ozier, a warehouse worker at the Amazon delivery station in Pontiac Michigan, to discuss the recent decision by Pontiac Amazon workers to walk out for hours on Amazon's "Prime Day". Then, they're joined by author and filmmaker Greg Mitchell to discuss the recent Christopher Nolan film "Oppenheimer" and Greg's scholarship on the man himself, J. Robert Oppenheimer.


Fox News Chud Tells Jewish Co-Host Holocaust Had 'Benefits'

There is no greater enemy to the conservative political movement than their own mouths.

Is Elon Musk Destroying Twitter On Purpose?

Just pull the plug already, if that's the case.


"We're huge in learning loss."

-- Dan DiDesiderio, a Pittsburgh-area account manager for Renaissance Learning, seller of educational software and assessments in a burgeoning industry looking to soak up large sums from federal grant money going to schools. via ProPublica.

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