Derek MajorAugust 10, 2023
UPS, union, contract
TOPSHOT – United Parcel Services (UPS) workers walk a ‘practice picket line’ on July 7, 2023, in the Queens borough of New York City, ahead of a possible UPS strike. UPS workers could go on strike by the end of July after the Teamsters Union, representing more than 300,000 UPS drivers and and warehouse workers, announced July 5, labor talks with the shipping giant broke down. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP) (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)
Tech workers have mixed feelings about UPS workers getting $170,000 in annual pay and benefits in their new contract with the Teamsters Union.

Business Insider reports full-time UPS workers will see their salaries and benefits hit $170K per year by the end of their five-year contract with the Teamsters Union. The delivery service came to an agreement with its 340,000 drivers and package handlers in July, avoiding what would’ve been the largest strike in U.S. history.

While the deal has yet to be approved by union members, news of the deal has led to mixed reactions from the tech industry, with those in the sector quick to point out that the pay boost will make their salaries comparable to those working in the tech industry.

“This is disappointing, how is possible that a driver makes much more than the average Engineer in R&D?” a worker at the autonomous-trucking company TuSimple wrote on Blind, an anonymous job-posting site. “To get a base salary of $170k you know you need to work hard as an Engineer, this sucks.”

While it may seem like UPS workers have hit a new tax bracket, the $170,000 figure represents the total amount of the package and not the base salary UPS workers will receive. Currently, UPS workers average $95,000 a year with an additional $50,000 in benefits according to the company. According to Glassdoor, the average salary for an engineer is $103,845.

Others on Blind used the new contract UPS workers received to indicate software workers are underpaid.

“The engineers that created that truck he drives are more important because the impact to society is higher, including providing a tool for work,” another user wrote on the site.

Other workers pointed to the fact that UPS workers work under difficult conditions and that their job is important to business.

“Stop behaving like an elitist!” an Amazon worker wrote on Blind. “Why do you [think] someone driving long haul should make less than an engineer? What they do is important work. How do you think the grocery stores get stocked or your favorite stores? It’s these long haul drivers risking their lives driving 12 hour days sometimes in harsh weather.”

According to UPS, it delivers an average of 24.3 million packages per day. Had the package service gone on strike, it would’ve caused a logistical nightmare for businesses nationwide that use UPS. In 1997, 185,000 UPS workers went on strike for 15 days, however, the Heritage Foundation reports it failed to produce significant gains for UPS employees.

The coronavirus pandemic led to a worker revolution in the U.S. as teachers, healthcare workers, airline pilots, actors, and writers have held work stoppages over the last two years for better pay, benefits, and an increase in the ability to work from home.

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