The End Part-Time Poverty at UPS campaign celebrated a victory when New York approved a plan to raise the state minimum wage to $15. But UPS part-timers still have a long way to go to get the wages they deserve.
The Fight for $15 victory in New York will deliver higher pay for UPS part-timers in New York City and wage increases to three million workers statewide.
“By Fighting for $15, part-timers in NYC won from the legislature what Hoffa and Hall wouldn’t fight for in our contract,” said Dave Loobie, a UPS part-timer and End Part-Time Poverty at UPS Campaign activist. “But we’ve still got a long way to go. Even in New York this agreement leaves many part-timers behind."
"The work we do at UPS is not minimum wage work. But Hoffa and Hall have turned our jobs into minimum wage jobs," Loobie said.
The minimum wage hike will raise starting pay and the minimum pay rate for UPS part-timers who work in New York City to $13 at the end of 2017 and to $15 at the end of 2018.
But UPS part-timers in Local 804 who work in Long Island and Westchester fall under different rules. The minimum wage in their counties will be just $11 an hour when the contract expires—and won’t reach $15 until 2021.
The minimum wage in other areas of the state will rise to $15 an hour on an even slower timeline.
UPS made $4.5 billion in profits and its CEO doubled his pay to $8.4 million in 2013; that same year the Hoffa-Hall administration agreed to freeze starting pay for part-timers at $10 an hour through 2018.
“We weren’t ready to give up on the fight for higher part-time pay just because Hoffa and Hall sold us out in the contract. So we linked our Campaign to End Part-Time Poverty at UPS with the Fight for $15,” said Lennox James, a UPS part-timer and End Part-Time Poverty activist in New York Local 804.
Local 804 members held rallies outside UPS buildings and collected signatures in support of a $15 minimum wage. They marched through New York City streets and they rallied in the state Capital.
On April 1, New York joined California as the first states to adopt a statewide minimum wage of $15 an hour.
The minimum wage in California will hit $11 on Jan. 1, 2017 and go up to $12 on Jan 1, 2018.
The End Part-Time Poverty at UPS Campaign will continue. We are joining a Fight for $15 national Day of Action on April 14. We will continue to fight for living wages for every UPS part-timer, every Teamster and every worker.