UPS Q1 profits near $1 billion, hazard pay needed
Lansing, MI – UPS announced first quarter profits of $965 million. The profits are down only slightly from last year’s $1.1 billion, despite the closure of many commercial businesses. UPS has filled this commercial business shortfall with an increase in residential delivery, causing long hours of work for package car drivers.
The concessionary Teamster mis-leadership has declared that they will not seek hazard pay from UPS. They are instead operating on the logic that the union must cooperate with and concede to the company to maintain operations.
In early March, before the U.S. government had taken much action against the coronavirus, UPS’ CFO Brian Newmann was quoted in Reuters, saying “Our planes are flying in and out of China right now...I think we’re trying to position ourselves to take advantage of some pent-up demand.” Even outside of UPS, the investment class is openly positioning to profit off of UPS during the pandemic. Writing for InvestorPlace Media, Chartered Financial Analyst Mark Hake characterizes coronavirus as delivering a “discount” on UPS stock and advises “UPS stock looks attractive. Its present price already discounts a lot of bad news.”
Rank-and-file members are not backing down from a fight. Breaking with the Hoffa administration, members have been circulating several petitions for hazard pay from the company. In addition, as reported in Fight Back! Teamsters in Tampa, Florida have started a campaign to demand hazard pay.
Outside of UPS, hazard pay has been offered by many retail and grocery companies, including Target, Walmart, Whole Foods, Costco, Sprouts, and Kroger, according to the Los Angeles Times. Even within the logistics industry, Amazon has increased overtime pay for warehouse workers. UPS is taking advantage of the pandemic and profit massively at the expense of the workers’ safety.
Teamsters can sign the petition for UPS hazard pay here: Hazard Pay Petition