In 1817, labor activist Robert Owen called for “eight hours labor, eight hours recreation, eight hours rest.” Now, UPS wants to cut back its workers’ recreation and rest.

A petition launched by the UPS Teamsters to the union’s international headquarters is calling attention to the company’s contract proposal in in ongoing union negotiations, in which UPS would have the option to make drivers work 70 hours over a six-day workweek, amounting to 11.6 hours a day, in order to avoid “service disruptions.” The union’s proposal is that the company cannot punish drivers for refusing to clock more than 60 hours in a given workweek, even during peak season.

Typically, UPS is limited to making drivers work 60 hours a week, with any additional hours added only at a worker’s individual request. However, this proposal would, according to the UPS Teamsters, go from a voluntary basis to eventually loop in seasonal and non-seniority drivers, and finally seniority drivers.

“UPS is also proposing work weeks of four 10-hour days and three 13-hour days with no overtime after eight. The company wants to be able to schedule drivers any five in seven days,” the UPS Teamsters release reads. “These concessions need to be rejected, too.”

The petition to the James P. Hoffa, who heads the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, is calling on union negotiators to reject any offer from UPS that would institute 70-hour workweeks, mandatory six-day workweeks, and any package schedule that includes four 10-hour days or three 13-hour days.

“Package drivers work hard and sacrifice our personal lives for this company. There’s a limit, and we are past it,” the petition reads.

Grit Post’s calls to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters’ press office were not returned as of this writing.


Jake Shepherd is a freelance writer from Cleveland, Ohio. He enjoys poring through financial disclosure statements, spirited debate, and good scotch. He remains eternally optimistic about the Browns. Email him at jake.d.shepherd.21 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

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