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Jacksonville Teamsters hold practice picket

By staff

Practice picket at UPS Hub in Jacksonville, Florida.

Jacksonville, FL – 40 members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) rallied near the Jacksonville United Parcel Service Hub on the morning of July 12. Officials from IBT Local 512 called for members to hold a “practice picket” like others held around the country. These practice pickets are part of the overall Teamster campaign to win a good national contract at UPS. Teamsters around the country are prepared to go on strike come August 1 if their demands for higher wages and better working conditions in the new contract are not met by the company.

Teamsters marched near the UPS Hub chanting, “Who are we? Teamsters!” A local television news station covered the event favorably. UPS Teamsters who participated in the practice picket mirrored the overall sentiment of UPS workers around the country – that the time for concessionary contracts is behind us and this contract needs to have big wins for workers.

A full-time UPS driver, Q Walker said, “This company has made billions off of the backs of my Teamsters brothers and sisters. It’s time for them to pay up!”

Solidarity between all those who work for UPS was a big theme at the practice picket. The company wants to divide workers based on different job classifications, but Teamsters are going to hold the line and demand a contract that benefits all hourly employees. Solidarity is one of the best weapons the working class has in their fight against greedy corporations.

Sean O’Brien and Fred Zuckerman are two of the many militant leaders of the IBT. They were elected in 2021 to lead the union as a whole. Now they must deliver on their promises to organize and win big at UPS, and to end the weakening and decline of the Teamsters Union.

Adam Gerardo is a part time UPS worker. He said, “Teamsters are ready to strike because we refuse to settle in our fight for a fair contract. We demand respect, better working conditions, and improved wages. Solidarity between full-timers and part-timers is crucial in this battle. We must stand together side by side to win the contract we deserve.”

A good contract at UPS between the company and the Teamsters will mean a huge win for the working class. The company does not have much time left on the clock to offer solutions before Teamsters begin what will be the largest single-employer strike in American history.

A second Local 512 practice picket is scheduled for Tuesday, July 18 at 8 a.m. for the newer Baymeadows UPS facility near the Southside of Jacksonville.

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