Essential Workers Strike and UPS to Re-evaluate Pricing

by | Apr 30, 2020

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Workers Coalition to Strike Over Pandemic Working Conditions

Employees of Amazon, Walmart, FedEx, Target, Instacart and Whole Foods are planning to strike on Friday over the current working conditions of the coronavirus pandemic. The planned strike is the first of its kind to feature workers from so many prominent businesses.

The workers that are striking say the companies they work for have been benefiting from the coronavirus pandemic and have seen an increase in profits. The workers have not seen similar benefits and say that their health and safety have been put on the line.

It is not the first time that essential workers have raised concerns about working conditions during the pandemic. Most notably, Amazon workers have taken part in a number of strikes, many of which have resulted in the termination of employees who participated.

The workers for Friday’s strike have a variety of demands. According to Business Insider, They would like to be paid for any unpaid time off they have taken since the beginning of March, sick pay for the remainder of the pandemic, protective equipment, cleaning supplies and increased transparency about known coronavirus cases in a workplace.

The plan is for workers to call in sick or walk off the job during their lunch breaks. The strikes will span across  more than six states. Friday is also notably celebrated as International Workers Day.

UPS to Negotiate Pricing Customer by Customer 

Like many other businesses, FedEx and UPS have been forced to shift their operations drastically due to the coronavirus pandemic. With statewide lockdowns becoming commonplace in March, carriers saw a dramatic increase in residential deliveries as more people were staying home and doing their shopping online.

UPS recently reported that 70% of their volume has been residential deliveries. The carrier has been able to rapidly adjust its operations and adapt to the change in deliveries, but not without cost.

According to Supply Chain Dive, UPS has seen a 1.8% decrease in profit per piece. While this decrease in profitability is certainly not as bad as some companies are experiencing, it does present a challenge to the carrier.

Many analysts expected that UPS would have to adjust their pricing to cope with the loss in revenue. While UPS has not formally announced any price changes, the carrier said that it would continue to monitor pricing and would approach each case customer by customer.

Topics: COVID-19, FedEx, UPS