Minimum Wage Tops UPS Contract in Washington State

March 2, 2009: The good news is that the starting wage for UPS part-timers in Washington State has gone up. The bad news is that the raise is only a nickel—and it took a hike in the state minimum wage to make it happen.

That’s right. The minimum wage in Washington State is now higher than the starting wage in the biggest Teamster contract. As of Jan. 1, the minimum wage in Washington is $8.55. The starting rate for part-timers is $8.50. What an embarrassment.

The minimum wage in several more states will top the starting wage for part-timers before the end of the contract, including California, New York, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts,. Oregon and Vermont.

The starting wage for part-timers was cut to $8 in 1982. That wage has gone up only once since then: after the 1997 strike. If wages had kept pace with inflation, the starting wage for part-timers today would be more than $18.

Starting wages competing with the minimum wage—and no healthcare for the first year (18 months for family coverage).

No wonder UPS is eliminating full-time combo jobs and using part-time labor instead.

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