Part-Time Poverty at UPS and the Fight for $15

Not long ago, I was living in a homeless shelter while working under a Teamster contract at UPS.

Today, I’m celebrating a milestone victory along with other activists in the End Part-Time Poverty at UPS Campaign.

Yesterday, New York joined California as the first states to adopt a statewide minimum wage of $15 an hour.

The victory will deliver higher starting pay for UPS part-timers in New York City and wage increases to three million workers statewide. Starting pay for UPS part-timers who work in New York City will go up to $13 at the end of 2017 and to $15 at the end of 2018.

After Hoffa froze starting pay for UPS part-timers at $10 an hour, we linked our Campaign to End Part-Time Poverty at UPS with the Fight for $15. We organized rallies at UPS, collected signatures and marched in the streets.

By protesting, we won from the legislature what Hoffa and Hall wouldn’t fight for in our contract. But we’ve still got a long way to go. Even in New York this agreement leaves many part-timers behind.

The minimum wage and UPS starting pay won’t reach $15 until the end of 2018 in Westchester and Long Island and even later elsewhere in the state.

We’re celebrating this victory—but we’re gearing up for more.

We are joining a Fight for $15 Day of Action on April 14 and preparing new campaigns to take on part-time poverty by taking the Fight for $15 into our union, to the bargaining table, to state legislatures and to the streets.

If you can, chip in $5 to support the End Part-Time Poverty at UPS Campaign. United, we win!

Lennox James
End Part-Time Poverty at UPS


Teamsters for a Democratic Union ·