UPS is one of the largest delivery companies in the country with hundreds of thousands of drivers. During a call on Tuesday of last week, Carol Tomé, UPS CEO, stated that within the next five years, many of these drivers could be making $170,000 a year.
Over 340,000 UPS drivers are a part of the Teamsters union, and reports state that the UPS Teamsters were on the verge of a strike last week before this very important conversation with the company’s CEO.
If 340,000 UPS drivers went on strike, the entire county, let alone the company, would turn into complete chaos. So in order to ensure that strike never happened, Carol Tomé and the Teamsters came to a tentative agreement which states that within the next five years, eligible full-time UPS drivers will be making a salary of $170,000 per year.
It’s important to note that the $170,000 number is not the base salary; that will include benefits such as healthcare and pension benefits. However, the decision is still causing quite the debate, especially within the tech industry.
On the anonymous job-posting site there have been hundreds of user comments stating that UPS drivers should not be making that kind of money. According to Glassdoor, most software engineers are currently making between $111,000 and $168,000, and people are mad at the possibility of a UPS driver making $170,000. (Though many are neglecting to note that within five years, engineer’s will likely be making more on average due to inflation.)
One comment argued that tech workers and engineers should be paid much more than drivers because “the engineers that created that truck he drives are more important because the impact to society is higher, including providing a tool for work.”
But while reading through comments such as “To get a base salary of $170k you know you need to work hard as an Engineer, this s*cks,” you will also find hundreds of comments supporting UPS drivers and defending their right to substantial compensation.
One Amazon worker commented, “Stop behaving like an elitist! “Why do you [think] someone driving long haul should make less than an engineer? What they do is important work. How do you think the grocery stores get stocked or your favorite stores? It’s these long haul drivers risking their lives driving 12 hour days sometimes in harsh weather.”
And another stated on X, “I’d love for you to meet my dad who has delivered for UPS for over 35 years, hauls 100s of packages in the 105+ degree Texas heat, is literally Santa Claus in Dec, and does it for 9+ hours a day at 67 yo.”
But while the world continues to debate whether or not $170,000 is fair compensation for UPS drivers, UPS is already reaping the benefits of this tentative decision. Not only are the 340,000 Teamsters not going on strike, but UPS has seen 50% growth in people looking for a job within their company just this week.
Of course, new UPS employees should not expect to receive the $170,000 salary just for walking in the door, they will be required to first work in the warehouses and move their way up the ladder to full time driver if they want to make the big bucks.