UPS drivers angry at dangerous heat inside trucks

Photo of the article titled & # 39;  'Feels like I'm going to pass out': UPS drivers angry at dangerous heat inside trucks

Simone Martin says her job as a UPS delivery truck driver was particularly challenging on July 21, during a heat wave in New York City. In the summer months, Martin often dips a refrigerated washcloth into a bowl of ice that she keeps in her truck and wraps it around her neck. But during that last heat wave, she did nothing to prevent the discomfort.

“This was the worst day for me,” she told Earther. “I felt like I was about to faint. I had to stop and put the ice back on my neck and on my head.”

Martin fears for her health as she delivers boxes all over town. “I feel lazy some days. So sometimes, I couldn’t, I actually couldn’t move. I had to really stop and stand under a tree,” she said. I got a headache from the heat.”

It was this Dangerously hot summerAnd many American cities have broken temperature records. UPS delivery drivers are required to work 10-hour shifts in trucks that do not have fans or air conditioners. As a result, many drivers reported feeling ill, and some even got sick in the hospital. “Something is different this year. It’s just too many people,” Jeff Shenfield, a union agent in Dallas and longtime UPS employee, He told NBC News:.

Drivers’ union leaders and Teamsters, who represent about 350,000 UPS workers, are outraged that the company did not take swift action to improve summer working conditions. they have Student That UPS put fans in every truck, extended breaks on hot days, and that the company provided water for workers. UPS did not respond to a request for comment on these terms and the company’s response to them.

Union leadership has criticized UPS for not providing ways to cool down trucks, despite the company raking in billions of dollars in profits From the work of drivers. “UPS executives sit inside their air-conditioned desks in the C-Wing all day while UPS Teamsters endure some of the most extreme weather conditions imaginable, and this company needs to take responsibility for what they do or not do to protect these workers,” said Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien’s A This week’s statement.

According to the statement, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited UPS for “heat-related injuries and occupational hazards.” 16 times since 2011. OSHA has heat standards for worker safety, but updating existing OSHA standards or adding new ones can take years, Washington Post It has been reported. The union is not willing to wait that long.

just last week, UPS workers crowded With union leaders outside the UPS customer center in Brooklyn, they are calling for better conditions. They were also outraged by the death of 24-year-old Esteban Chavez Jr., a UPS driver in California who passed out in his truck on a day when temperatures were reported to rise above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. He died in late June, and although the official cause of Chavez’s death remains unknown pending a coroner’s report, the Chavez family He thinks heat stroke killed him.

also in july, Screenshots of the doorbell from Ring In Arizona, a UPS driver was shown to have collapsed after delivering a package, fueling anger over workers’ conditions. UPS drivers are trained to operate outdoors and deal with the effects of hot weather. UPS said in a statement about the video: 12 KPNX News reported.

Aside from protests and union organizing, workers have also taken to social media. newly Twitter theme From a worker who describes him in his Twitter bio as a “Teamster since 2011” discussed dangerous conditions, including how the temperature in his car was around 122 degrees Fahrenheit last week. Anthony Canto tweeted: “UPS Corporate Solution: Drink water, eat honeydew, and take a break under the tree.” Members of the Task Force for a Democratic Union Twitter theme From this week I showed pictures of the thermometer readings that were reportedly taken inside Trucks with temperatures well above 115 degrees Fahrenheit (46 degrees Celsius).

Martin confirmed that a lot of her work makes her feel overheated, but the worst part is locating and collecting packages in the back of her car. “Those three minutes feel like hell in the back of the truck,” she said.

According to Martin’s recollection, prior to the death in California and the video of the collapsed delivery driver in Arizona, workers usually had to get their own water, but now water is being supplied to workers and Gatorade at work. “[UPS is] They are under pressure, and there are eyes on them now because they are publicly available,” Martin said.

Martin hopes that she and her colleagues won’t have to wait years for fans or ice makers. She wants increased public pressure to spur UPS to invest in worker safety. She says delivery drivers and union representatives don’t ask for much.

“We are hard workers, we go out there and do our jobs,” she said. “The company has to look at it this way – they will benefit more from us if we are comfortable.”