Unionized UPS Teamsters – 260,000 of them – are set to strike in the
biggest American strike since UPS’s unionized drivers walked out in
Superficially, the issue is about the company moving to seven-day
delivery, but the issue that’s forcing the strike is the sizable cohort
of union members who are unwilling to accept a two-tier workplace where
established workers get the full protection of the union and younger
hires are given a worse deal. This has been a traditional way that
employers have split, weakened and ultimately killed their workers’
unions – by buying off the long-established employees with better deals
that make the workers who’ll replace them feel that unions have nothing
to offer them, which establishes divisions that can be exploited later
to lay off those higher-paid workers, leaving only the lowest-paid
employees and no union they can use to press for better pay.
It seems like some of UPS’s Teamsters have figured out that solidarity pays.