31: Building fighting unions at UPS and Delta

October 24, 2018

The U.S. labor movement is in an interesting place. The strikes of teachers and now hotel workers are showing the depths of anger among workers about years of disrespect and stagnant wages — and a capacity for self-organization and solidarity that hasn’t been seen for decades in many unions. At same time, the number of workers in unions remains low, the laws and most elected officials are hostile to labor, and too many union leaders have been slow to take up this new fighting spirit. This episode looks at how these dynamics are playing out in a couple of key private-sector companies.

First, labor solidarity activist Flynn Murray joins Danny to talk to UPS drivers and Teamsters Local 804 members Anthony Rosario and Juan Acosta about the movement they’re involved in to reject a concessionary national contract being pushed by the international union. Then we speak with a Delta baggage handler about the potentially historic organizing campaign that he and his fellow baggage handlers are leading to unionize with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM).

Links about UPS:

Flynn’s September Socialist Worker interview with Anthony, Juan and fellow driver Duquesneson Pierre (http://bit.ly/UPSinterview)

An article by a UPS worker about the fight against the new contract (http://bit.ly/NoBadContract)

Check out one of the many YouTube videos from UPS worker Tyler Binder as part of the Vote No campaign (http://bit.ly/Tylervideo)

The story of the historic 1997 UPS strike (http://bit.ly/1997UPSstrike)

Joe Allen’s The Package King: A Rank and File History of United Parcel Service (http://bit.ly/PackageKing)

Links about Delta:

Danny’s April Socialist Worker interview with a Delta worker about the union campaign (http://bit.ly/DeltaUnion)

A 2017 article from a Delta worker about why customers and workers should unite against miserable airline conditions (http://bit.ly/TogetherAgainstDelta)

Report from a Delta worker about the company’s anti-union campaign (http://bit.ly/DeltaPropoganda)

Audio for this episode:

The Boy & Sister Alma, “Lizard Eyes” (Dead Sea Captains Remix)
Matthew Bistok, “UPS Song: The Man In Brown”
Bob Marley, “Get Up, Stand Up”
Hozier, “Work Song”
The Ramp Rapper, “We Need A Union”
“The Barney Song”
The Beatles, “Hard Day’s Night”