The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Horrible Work Conditions at UPS

Nov 7, 2022

In early October, a pregnant worker employed at the UPS Worldport package sorting plant committed suicide in the facility. Her co-workers told the Guardian newspaper that she committed suicide after she got fired for falling asleep on the job.

The giant UPS Worldport, next to Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport, Kentucky, is the world’s largest automated packaging sorting facility. It spreads over 5.2 million square feet of land (90 football fields), with a perimeter of 7.2 miles, including 70 aircraft docks and 155 miles of conveyor belts. This plant employs about 11,000 workers and can handle 115 packages a second.

The conditions in this giant plant are awful. To decrease labor costs, UPS does not hire enough workers. Instead, they push the workers to the edge. For managers, workers going to the bathroom one too many times is an issue. The management constantly surveils and scrutinizes the workers and threatens them with termination. Nothing is enough for UPS. They squeeze out every bit of sweat from the workers.

Besides that, the plant environment is unclean and filled with dust. The equipment is worn out by overuse, leading to injuries. The workers have their hands and fingers smashed by heavy packages. Bruised toes and lost fingernails are common occurrences.

What these UPS workers are describing is not a modern civilized high-tech 21st-century facility benefiting all. UPS Worldport is like a 19th-century slave plantation fattening the capitalist slave drivers.