15 Per Hour at UPS
The following piece is a repost by theorganizertc sharing a statement from 15 Per Hour at UPS. It reflects on an action made by organizers at Screw Ups who collected almost 100 signatures for a petition demanding $15 per hour starting wage at UPS and a $5 dollar raise for everyone. It a very insightful piece and we recommend everyone to read more about it below.
We hear people talking about it every night. “Shit, we should be making a hell of a lot more than we do for working this hard!” “They’re gonna have to pay me way better if they want me to do that!” And we all agree, but we also know that words alone won’t turn into raises. So last month some sturdy friends of Screw Ups braved the icy terrors of winter to collect signatures on a petition calling for a $15/hour starting wage at UPS, and a corresponding $5 raise for everyone. We weren’t surprised by the positive responses–nearly 100 signatures at both the Minneapolis and Eagan hub!–and it was great to see people getting fired up about making a real improvement to our jobs.
Making a push to raise wages at UPS without waiting 4 years for the next contract is certainly ambitious. But we all know how big of a difference an extra $5 per hour would make in our lives. And let’s face it; lots of us won’t even be working here in four years. We deserve better wages now, not when (and if) union and company negotiators feel like it. That’s why we’re going to fight for it. Nobody is promising we can make it happen. But we are promising to fight for it.
Whether you’ve been at UPS for a week, or a decade, or longer, you know that they always demand MORE. More accuracy, more speed, more sacrifice. This is especially true during peak season, when UPS relies on us most to keep the operation running and their profits flooding in. Year after year, we make billions of dollars for the company, and what do we get in return? Poverty wages (and the occasional pizza at break). This is what UPS thinks all of our hard work is worth. But we’re willing to bet that most of the time, and especially at Peak, the effort you put into your job goes far beyond what most people working part time jobs for $10 (or $11, or $12, or more) an hour give.
If we want to stop the daily wishing for higher wages, we have to get serious about it. We’re smart enough by now to know UPS won’t just give us things when we ask nicely. We have to show them what we’re worth. Show UPS what you think $10/hour work looks like, and they might start to understand what we’re worth. Keep it up, and they won’t have a choice but to find a way to show that our work is actually important to them.
It is going to take a big group of us putting pressure on UPS to get this raise. If you want to join in and work for better wages, we want you to get in touch with us! We are ready to start moving forward, and there are a few ways you can get involved right away. Check us out at www.facebook.com/15dollarsUPS or send an email to screwups[at]riseup.net.