ONLINE PUBLIC MEETING SUNDAY: The rank-and-file counteroffensive against building closures at UPS

This Sunday, at 7 p.m. Eastern Time, the UPS Workers Rank-and-File Committee is holding a public meeting to organize a fight against the jobs bloodbath at UPS. Register for the meeting here.

The unprecedented plan laid out last month to close 200 facilities is the next stage in an offensive against jobs at UPS, where over 12,000 are already being laid off. In response, the rank and file must organize a rebellion against not only management, but the corrupt Teamsters bureaucracy.

The company’s ability to carry out these cuts depends upon the sellout contract pushed through last year with lies. The layoffs began only months after supposedly the biggest “victory” in generations at UPS, while the Teamsters maintain a guilty silence. Recently, one member of the bargaining team even told workers that UPS “has a right” to cut their jobs.

Meanwhile, UPS CEO Carol Tome herself said that the new contract and “labor certainty” are key elements in their plans to lay off tens of thousands of people.

These betrayals are taking place in one industry after another. Only a few months after UPS workers were sold out last year, the United Auto Workers rammed through a sellout, which they also falsely claimed to be the best in years. The contract now is being used to lay off thousands of autoworkers. Across industries, hundreds of thousands have lost their jobs since the start of last year.

A key element in the attack on jobs is automation and other new technologies. In and of themselves, these could be used to make our jobs easier, to free up resources for healthcare and benefits and to create more full-time positions. But because the interests of the company’s shareholders take precedence over all other considerations, the exact opposite is taking place.

The meeting will place a key emphasis on a working class program for new technology. The issue is not the tech itself, but who controls it and for what purpose.

This January, the UPS Workers Rank-and-File Committee issued a statement, “Automation jobs bloodbath is underway at UPS: Seven facts workers need to know,” which ended with a proposal for a counteroffensive by workers based on three guiding principles. They were:

First, the maximum initiative must remain in the hands of rank-and-file workers. We must not be chained to a perspective of pressuring this or that union bureaucrat or waiting on the outcome of backroom talks. We insist we have the right and the duty to take all actions which we deem necessary to defend our jobs, regardless of whether the bureaucracy sanctions them or not. If they refuse to do so, they only further expose themselves as pro-company stooges.

Second, we must reject the “right” of UPS and other corporations to a profit at our expense. Everyone knows there is enough money to secure good-paying jobs. In 2022, UPS made $13 billion in profit off of $100 billion in revenue created by our labor. The problem is not a lack of money but the domination of the logistics and delivery networks at the heart of the modern economy by massive corporations run by super-wealthy oligarchs. Their domination over society must be ended if we are to make any headway in defense of jobs and living standards. This requires the public ownership of UPS and other huge corporations, run democratically by workers themselves as public utilities.

Third, we must unite with workers in logistics and other industries around the US and the world. Everywhere the policy of the major multinational corporations are the same: endless job and wage cuts to pay for profits, and for wars in defense of profits. We must meet their global strategy with a global movement uniting workers across all countries in defense of our common interests.

The start of the next stage in the layoffs proves that such a campaign is urgently needed. Sunday’s meeting will be a critical step forward in organizing a fight back. In addition to UPS workers, we will also hear from postal workers, autoworkers, and others organizing rank-and-file committees, as part of the International Workers Alliance of Rank-and-File Committees, against the bureaucratic sellouts in their industries.

Sign up for Sunday’s meeting by clicking here. To join the Committee or to contact us, fill out the form below or email upsrankandfilecommittee@gmail.com