Standing with UPS workers to deliver safe workplaces & fair wages
Pennsylvania’s history is the history of organized labor. Our fathers & mothers, grandfathers & grandmothers and generations beyond quite literally risked their lives to stand up against the robber barons and their corrupt allies in government that put the rich above the people.
They shed their blood in dangerous mines and factories. They died in preventable accidents caused by greed and indifference towards the plight of working people. They led the fight for the things we take for granted today: 40-hour workweeks, paid holidays, health insurance, a chance to retire, and so, so much more.
The Mine Workers, the Steelworkers, the Autoworkers, the International Ladies Garment Workers – those organizations turned America’s economy into the most powerful economy in the world, and did it by creating the strongest middle class on the planet, full of workers paid fairly with enough money and enough time to spend their dollars in the community.
House Democrats have always stood with workers, and we’re still standing with them today. After countless attacks on working people by right-wing extremists backed by billionaires and big corporate money, this Spring we finally passed legislation giving working people a vote on enshrining the right to organize and form a union into our state constitution.
Now, we are standing with the workers of yet another Union standing up for safe workplaces and fair wages. There are few sights on our streets more ubiquitous than the brown UPS truck, staffed by hard-working people bringing everyone’s online treasures to the front doors of America – 5.2 billion packages last year alone. Throughout the pandemic, UPS workers ensured hospitals, nursing homes, and houses across the country received the essential supplies and medicines we needed.
What you don’t always see are the 340,000 full- and part-time workers putting in 65+ hours a week, being forced to work overtime on scheduled days off and roasting in trucks without any air conditioning, even during heat waves like we’re enduring right now. With the climate crisis right on our doorstep, we can only expect these conditions to get worse. These workers are not just riding in the front of the truck where they may be lucky to get a breeze with the doors open, but also in the intensely hot metal storage areas where packages are stored. On top of this, the physical labor workers perform to move heavy boxes all day long .
Of course, the company says they can’t afford to make workers’ circumstances better, even while earning more than $100,000,000,000 in revenue last year, growing their revenue by 5.5%, and delivering almost a quarter of all packages delivered in the United States. Like the Steel and Coal robber barons of yesteryear, UPS claims there’s nothing that can be done to ensure safe workplaces and that workers just have to deal with it. But UPS workers are fed up – and they’re standing up for their rights during contract negotiations.
We stand with the workers.
Every American worker has the right to fair wages and a safe workplace. UPS workers are now fighting not only for themselves, but also for the wages and working conditions of other nonunion delivery drivers, like Amazon workers who have no protections at all and suffer some of the worst working conditions in the country. The fight – as it’s always been – is a collective one.
We are proud to stand with those workers, and stand with all workers fighting for a better future for everyone – for an economy that works for everyone, not just the wealthy elite.
Any bills that come our way trying to make us a right-to-work-for-less state? Any bills that end the Prevailing Wage laws that make sure your tax dollars are spent on high-quality Union work that saves money in the long run? Any bills that take away your power and give it to corporate boards or vulture capitalists or hedge fund raiders? We recognize these anti-labor bills for what they are: attempts to consolidate power and wealth into the hands of the elite, while taking away workers’ rights.
The only way our economy truly grows is with a strong middle class powered by good jobs and safe workplaces – not tax breaks for billionaires or grueling conditions for working people. We’re sticking with the workers – and always will.