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Inside the Transport Sector: Uncovering Workers’ Thoughts on UPS Strike

Written by
Sarah Aitchison
Attorney
July 25, 2023  ·  1 min read
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As the contract between UPS and the Teamsters Union neared expiration, the quest for a new agreement to address pressing concerns regarding wages, benefits, and job security intensified. We studied data from OSHA’s Severe Injury Report from 2015-2022 to gather the most recent information about UPS and other shipping companies' employees’ injuries due to their working environment.

OSHA UPS data

Key takeaways

Amazon

  • The top states with the most OSHA-reported injuries by Amazon workers are Texas, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

  • The top source of injury for Amazon workers is floors, walkways, or ground surfaces. 

  • The top incident type reported by Amazon workers is fractures.

  • The top event of injury for Amazon workers is falls.

DHL

  • The top states with the most OSHA-reported injuries by DHL workers are Georgia, Ohio, and Texas.

  • The top source of injury for DHL workers is forklifts.

  • The top incident type reported by DHL workers is fractures.

  • The top event of injury for Amazon workers is being stuck by or against something.

FedEx

  • The top states with the most OSHA-reported injuries by FedEx workers are Texas, Pennsylvania, and Illinois.

  • The top source of injury for FedEx workers is floors, walkways, or ground surfaces. 

  • The top incident type reported by FedEx workers is fractures.

  • The top event of injury for FedEx workers is being compressed or pinched by shifting objects or equipment

UPS workers threatened to strike, and the potential ramifications of this disruption on the global supply chain prompted us to survey over 200 transportation workers for their insights.

UPS Survey

Key takeaways

  • 75% of transportation industry workers support the UPS strike.

  • They believe the most important negotiations are better pay (76%) and addressing health and safety concerns due to heat illness (73%).

  • Nearly 1 in 4 believe the government should intervene if UPS Teamsters strike.

  • 65% are concerned about the potential impact of the UPS strike on the U.S. economy.

    • 31% believe it would significantly impact the availability of goods and services.

    • 17% believe it would significantly impact the costs of goods and services.

  • 58% of transportation industry workers believe non-union workers could do the job of a union delivery driver as effectively, but 42% believe they could not.

  • On average, transportation industry workers believe $26 is a fair hourly wage for delivery drivers.

A glimpse into labor concerns and hopes

Based on our findings, an overwhelming majority of respondents supported the UPS strike, indicating a significant collective concern for improved pay and labor conditions — especially when it came to dealing with heat illnesses. Transportation workers’ insights were valid as the top injury sources, incidents, and events reported by UPS to OSHA were all related to environmental heat. The top two states with the most injury reports are also two of the hottest in the country — Texas and Florida.

Workers were also worried about the strike’s impact on the U.S. economy, goods and services availability, and costs, underscoring the potential effects a strike might have throughout the broader supply chain. And skepticism surrounding the efficacy of non-union workers highlights the perceived value of and need for skilled, experienced unionized drivers to be on the job.

Methodology 

We surveyed 257 Americans working in the transportation industry about the potential UPS strike. Among them, 66% were men, 33% were women, and 1% were non-binary. We also analyzed OSHA’s Severe Injury Report, which included data from 1/1/2015 to 11/30/2022.

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Fair use statement

Readers are welcome to share the findings from our article for noncommercial purposes only, provided they include a link back to the original page.

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Sarah Aitchison

Attorney

Sarah is an attorney at Atticus Law, P.C. Prior to joining Atticus, she was a civil public defender in Brooklyn, NY and a business reporter in Seattle, WA. She is a graduate of the University of Washington School of Law.
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