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Inside UPS. A Worker´s Report from the US

erstellt von oops zuletzt verändert: 16.08.2008 10:39

When I was first hired, UPS told me they expected a lot from their employees. I shrugged it off because the contract between the Teamsters union and UPS is extremely beneficial for part-timers. I was promised full benefits, health care, dental, job protection, paid leave, etc. These are things most young workers in the USA don’t get from employers today. I felt lucky and proud to have a union job.

But while the pay and benefits are decent, I quickly learned that the job conditions are terrible. UPS from the very tops on downward puts tremendous pressure are their employees to get a tremendous amount of work done. Area managers hound building managers who hound supervisors who hound drivers and inside workers. Everyone is stressed out, and tensions between workers and management run high. One driver told me, “I’ve never seen a workplace where it is so much the guards versus the prisoners.”

Everyday, workers must assert themselves to supervisors who try to squeeze as much work out of them as possible. The stewards are forced to fight on a daily basis with the manager. There is a constant war where supervisors write up workers for violations and workers file grievances.

Inside workers are overwhelmingly part-time, and make a very low wage, just above wages at Wal-Mart. Most of them have to work a second job. Many start their workday at 4 AM, and don’t finish until after 6 PM.

They are extremely exploited, forced to work at backbreaking speeds. In the morning, tens of thousands of packages must be unloaded from trucks, sorted and then orderly placed inside the delivery trucks in just 4 hours. The belt only stops if a major build-up occurs, which happens often. Falling boxes are a constant danger to the workers. Nearly 50% of the time, the inside workers are not finished loading the trucks when the drivers start their shifts, forcing the drivers to work even longer shifts.

The main complaint amongst full time drivers is the length of the day. Every single day, drivers are forced to work overtime, often working 10-hour days for five straight days. UPS claims to be a company that upholds traditional American family values, but many drivers only get to spend time with their families on weekends.

Driving for UPS is an extremely dangerous job. Injury rates at UPS are way above the national average. Drivers are getting in and out of their truck 120-150 times a day and handling packages that weigh up to 150 pounds. In my short time at UPS, I have heard of several drivers dislocating shoulders, breaking wrists, and injuring backs.

As a part timer I have been warned many times by full timers not to take a full time driving position. One driver quit and took a job with one of UPS’s competitors claiming the pay was not as good but the difference in job conditions were like night and day. UPS is a cruel company. As one worker explained, “The bottom line is money. They never take the human element into consideration.”


(16) Kommentare

Anonymer Benutzer 06.10.2006 20:17

Only one persons perception of a great organization. Most people at UPS are proud of their employment status and the organization as a whole. Do not paint a perception based on one individuals comments. Many people have worked very hard to build UPS and continue to do so in the effort to grow and provide service to their many customers. This individual may have the same perception of their next employer? Easy jobs don't pay much. My driver smiles every day, even when it snows.

Anonymer Benutzer 04.04.2007 03:36
Not only one person's perception of a great organization, seems to me that it's the general concensus amongst drivers. I assume your view is that of a customer, not an employee. You would see that as a customer, because in spite of the horrific treatment the majority of UPS drivers receive from their supervisors and managers, they love what they do and enjoy their relationships with their customers.

In my opinion and having heard the opinions of many drivers, most of them love the actual work they do but are extremely stressed by the unfair treatment they receive from UPS management. Oops was right, the human element is not a consideration of management, these employees are disposable commodities. The general public perceives UPS as a great place to work; therefore, there are always plenty of ill-advised men and women standing in line to take their place. I am speaking as the wife of an injured driver, one who has been harassed and discriminated against based on a work related injury (as supported by the Worker's Comp Board decision against UPS and 6 of it's supervisors - not just a disgruntled employee). I work for an outstanding company who values their employees, praises a job well done, believes in work/home balance - what a stark constrast between my employer and UPS! The sad thing is that my husband loved his job and he was extremely good at it. He dealing with customers and he took pride in working for UPS. He was praised as a good driver until that fateful day when he was injured at work and our lives haven't been the same since. I agree that there are probably several employees who would still sing the praises of UPS even today, perhaps they work in a center where management behaves with compassion and understanding, but I also believe that this compassionate UPS manager is the exception, not the rule.
Anonymer Benutzer 05.04.2007 15:08
You´re describing it exactly the right way. Drivers, sorters and other employees who bring in the billions of Dollars for UPS stockholders (to a good part upper management) are constantly being trampled upon. Now that´s the way our management is handling it´s business the world over, so it cannot be claimed that we are discussing the failures of single persons. We´re talking about a system: the UPS management-"culture".

Though I do think you´re mistaken when you write "I assume your view is that of a customer, not an employee." - as it´s probably a manager who pretends to be a customer that posted the comment above - I totally agree with the rest of what you wrote.

Best wishes to you and your husband from the south of Germany
Anonymer Benutzer 09.04.2007 10:55
I´m proud to present the human element in UPS management´s behaviour!

Here it is:

Kinda hard to see, right. But still it is sowhere out there. You just need to believe.
Anonymer Benutzer 02.09.2007 22:12
i am entering 20 years w/this company,13 as a package driver andthe past 6 in obviously have never been employed by a package driver i also enjoyed a great repore with the customers,however people do not see the intimidation put upon us by managment.i have told my friends for years about the mental abuse we are subjected to on a daily basis and they never believed me.then, i was fired and put out of work for 10months,through different means such as medical records being falsified,md's being corrupt,etc.i was finally able to prove how far these people will go
Anonymer Benutzer 29.05.2008 00:54
You dirty lying management scum. I busted my ass for 10 years in my department. Some spick who comes in and kisses ass gets promoted in 2 fucking years. Go fuck yourself you piece of managment shit!!!!!
Anonymer Benutzer 08.01.2010 21:45
ooohh ok captain cardboard
Anonymer Benutzer 07.08.2007 17:55
The conditions are *exactly* as described. I have worked 1 year as a loader/unloader of 18 wheelers, then 9 years as a part-time management employee overseeing various operations within our large building, where I still work. I have witnessed this exact treatment of employees and even the talk that goes on when someone gets hurt. Even when people call off of work, the managers NEVER believe them, and make life hell for them when they come back. The times I have been off, I was on my DEATHbed, with a fevers of 104 even, and the manager had seen me 'sickly' for days already, they still all gave me ultimate grief on the phone call in a *very* disappointed tone of voice. I love my job though because I am the exception, and I have a good relationship with employees around the building. I am the only person that people come to for issues that should be resolved through their direct supervisor because their supervisor never helps them. I don't mind the extra little burdens here and there on myself, because it keeps employees happy that someone cares. When we bring people into the company, our main focus is to stress safety, so at the initial 'classroom' training they get spoon fed safety. Then after that, the whole idea of safety goes out the window because they go to work in the operation and not even the management cares about what they do, just as long as they don't get hurt enough to have to report. It makes me so angry, all of it. I even cashed out all of my stock because I won't invest my money in the company. It's normally very easy for someone to work at UPS if they will accept a paycheck for being emotionally abused on a consistent basis, because if they are a unionized employee they can practically never be fired, and if they are management then all they need to do is pass the blame to someone else for no matter what problems they cause. GGGRRRRR.
Anonymer Benutzer 12.08.2007 23:26
As a thirty year vet, I can tell you that the working conditions are as bad as they say. No one starting out n ow will be able to last. I have seen many last only a couple of days.

Saftey is preached but not practiced.
Equipment is junk. We have many 21 year old 'cars", the one in the picture looks pretty good compared to some of ours.

Supervisors and even center managers have to deliver on a daily basis to cover injurys and call in's. I was asked if i wanted to come in and work on my vacation. I said no as we all need the time away from this job!
Anonymer Benutzer 13.08.2007 15:33
Here in Germany UPS managers and sups are trying to convince injured or sick workers to come back to work. If they don´t, they might be punished afterwards. For example, they may be transferred from a PD to the Primary, which means harder work and less hours. Do things like that happen in the states?
Anonymer Benutzer 30.08.2007 05:27
Yes, the treatment is the same here in the states. We recently had an employee come back to work after being in a car crash. Management decided that since that employee hadn't been around for a few weeks and hadn't had to work, they would sent them to the primary instead of their smalls bagging job they had before. Hello! Where is the respect for that employees recovering body?? In the primary it is fast paced and packages are heavy. I'm sure management was just pissed that that person hadn't had to be at work for 3 weeks.
Anonymer Benutzer 14.09.2007 05:13
Working at UPS, I see more shit than the people at the sewer plant. The bottom line is money. We are numbers that produce numbers. It's not a prestigious job anymore. We can't even get part-timers to go into driving. They have to hire people from the street to go driving. They start them later than the rest of the group, so they don't see how horrible it really is. Our bosses intimidate, harass, threaten, embarrass, and do everything they can do make our lives hell....but hey, my check still cashes. UPS is where I have seen some of the greatest people turn into demons. We work in a sadistic, masochistic, vindictive environment. Even our Union Steward sides with management in the office. He has half the work of everyone else. And for the new guys, they feed them to the wolves from start. Poor training from a poor trainer. They don't want them to make it because it's an extra mouth to feed, hear, and smack. More liability, expense, time, trouble. There is no competition because UPS is it's own competition. We are self destructing from the inside out. P.S. " YOU HAVEN'T WORKED FOR UPS UNTILL YOU'VE BEEN FIRED TWICE."
Anonymer Benutzer 15.09.2007 11:08
When we started union activity in our hub, many of us thought that the source of all problems was our local management and UPS quite a good company. How terribly mistaken we were!
Anonymer Benutzer 25.09.2007 05:47
Yes we do have pressure...and yes managers want the most from you..I love seen my truck all full...You go there to work and if you dont like just quit. I love my job and I love all the BS they give me..I thank god for every minute he gives me there..dealing with dogs, people, name it
Anonymer Benutzer 01.02.2010 17:35
I am in full agreement, I am proud to say I work for UPS. If you all hate the job so much then quit and find something else. A job is a job. It is work and no one likes to work, but it is apart of our daily lives. Yes, there is crap we have to put up with everyday, but that will be apart of every job not just at UPS.
Anonymer Benutzer 26.04.2010 04:22
we've all taken hits especially over the last year and a half. i know that even the full-time sups didn't get raises this past year. it's probably the toughest job i've ever worked but nobody else outside the company has any clue of what it's like. i'd rather work with this group of people every day then most of the meek mofo's at other jobs.
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