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Working People


Jun 15, 2023

The largest private sector labor contract in the US is set to expire at midnight on July 31; as negotiations continue to play out, we will soon see whether or not the 350,000 Teamsters working for United Parcel Services (UPS) will hit the picket line and wage one of the largest strikes in US history. As Sean Orr, a UPS package-car driver and elected shop steward for Teamsters Local 705 in Chicago, and Elliot Lewis, a UPS package-car driver and alternate shop steward for Teamsters Local 804 in New York City, recently wrote in Jacobin, "This contract fight is about two visions of work in the twenty-first century. One is promoted by workers: equal pay for equal work, dignity and autonomy on the job, and a stable work-life balance. The other is promoted by Wall Street: hypersurveillance, low pay, subcontracting, gig work, and 'flexible' scheduling practices that hurt workers and benefit bosses." In this episode, we talk to Sean Orr about growing up in a de-industrializing Milwaukee, his path to becoming a Teamster and working for UPS, why the current contract fight is such a pivotal moment for the Teamsters and the labor movement, and what we can all do to stand in solidarity with all UPS workers. 

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Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org)

  • Jules Taylor, "Working People" Theme Song