UPS Driver Explains Why They're Striking Despite Being Paid $42/Hour— 'That's What Solidarity Is'

UPS workers are essential workers, and it's well past time for them to be compensated and cared for.

Juan Trujillo juantrujillo027 / TikTok

A UPS driver named Juan Trujillo went on TikTok to clearly articulate the reasons for supporting the worker-led strike that is set to start on July 31, 2023, which is the date that UPS workers’ contract expires. Trujillo posted multiple videos responding to comments that UPS workers don’t deserve the $42/hour wage they currently make.

The UPS driver explained the valid reasons why they’ll go on strike, despite being paid $42 an hour.

As Trujillo made clear in his TikTok post, UPS workers are planning to strike to show their support for part-time workers, who only make $16 an hour.


Trujillo recorded himself sitting in the front seat of a delivery truck, replying to a comment stating, “No way you deserve $42 an hour as a delivery guy, lol. Takes zero skill.”

“Yeah, $42 an hour is definitely not enough,” Trujillo said. “Even the company thinks so. That’s why we’re getting a raise, and we do every year. It’s about $1.40 to $1.50 every year. And it’s going to be higher around this one. We’re not going on strike because the drivers aren’t getting their raises… our raise has already been negotiated.”

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“The full-timers, the drivers, like, we’re gonna get ours. You know, $42 is not enough and we’re gonna get more than that. We’re going on strike because a part-timer is only making $16 an hour, and that’s unacceptable,” he exclaimed. 



“I will stand next to my part-time brothers and sisters and make sure they get theirs on this one, too. And I’ll sacrifice 2 weeks of work if I have to, because that’s what solidarity is. That’s what we do,” Trujillo said.

Trujillo believes UPS workers deserve to make more than $42 an hour because of the high amount of revenue they generate for the company. 

He praised the negotiating power held by the Teamsters’ Union, asking, “How the hell do you think we got to $42 anyways? By sitting back and accepting $35? No, no, we demanded what was ours and that’s what we’re doing now. And $42, that’s what it is now. In August, when that contract gets signed, we’ll have more than that. And it’s gonna keep going up every year because their profits go up every year.” 


In a previous post on TikTok, Trujillo responded to a different claim that “42 an hour is more than enough.”

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“I just wanna make a clarification, because some of you are missing the point,” he stated. “When I say $42 is not enough, it’s not because I can’t live comfortably. It’s not enough based on the amount of revenue that we’re producing for this company. Especially during the pandemic, when they made $100 billion and just kept that. They didn’t even work for it.”



“I’m talking about their shareholders, you know who they are. They sat there, like, we were the ones loading the trucks. We were the ones delivering the packages. They were nowhere to be found. But we know where they were. They all bugged out to their doomsday bunkers, and left us out here to keep working, and keep the supply chains moving,” Trujillo said.


He criticized the company’s actions during the COVID-19 pandemic, when UPS drivers continued to work, despite their lives being in danger.  

“They sacrificed us, basically,” Trujillo stated. “That stuff was running through the hubs; people catching it– some of them died. We were out here, the drivers, dealing with the general public, some of us contracted it, brought it back to our families, and some of them died. And they didn’t care.”

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He questioned the narrative being disseminated by various TikTok commenters who believe UPS are greedy for asking for higher wages.

“How are we greedy? We’re not the greedy ones. We’re the ones that actually worked for that $100 billion. They did nothing. We’re not greedy. We’re standing up and demanding our cut. That’s our money. They don’t deserve one cent of that $100 billion, for having done nothing but put us in harm's way. We didn’t get no hazard pay for that,” Trujillo exclaimed. 


“They’re not seeing these people in the comments, defending them and their system of exploitation. That pisses me off. Y’all supposed to be on our side. We can all get it; we can all eat. They did the same thing to you, except they’re only paying you 20,” he said. 

Trujillo pointed out that the vitriol being cast at UPS workers is entirely misplaced, and that anger should instead be directed at the corporations holding the power.

“You guys gotta get it together,” he said. “We’re not against you. You guys hating on us in the comments, but you should be hating on your boss. Y’all should be emailing your CEO right now, like, ‘You know what UPS gets? Why can’t we get that?’ Or you should be calling your local teamsters’ office, being like, ‘Hey, how do we get in on this?’ Instead, you’re over here, wasting your energy hating on us.”

“It’s not about what they think we deserve, it’s about how much money we’re generating for them, right? They’re keeping it. It’s ours, all right? Y’all gotta get yours, too. Everyone can, man. This is it,” he ended his post.


An article published by Forbes Magazine detailed the massive effect a UPS strike would have on the US economy, likely costing the US billions of dollars. As 340,000 workers prepare to strike, the possible ramifications would be dire. A strike would mean slower delivery times, supply chain disruptions, and higher shipping costs, which could get passed on to consumers to cover.

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UPS delivers 24.3 million packages a day. If workers strike, other services won’t be able to absorb the labor. According to Forbes, a UPS strike “would be the most expensive strike in at least a century, costing the US economy upwards of $7 billion, including $4.6 billion in losses for customers, $1 billion in lost wages and more than $800 million in direct losses at UPS.”


Teamsters President Sean O’Brien reported that the union seeks to establish a "livable starting wage" for part-time workers, who currently make “poverty wages.”

Going on strike is a deeply-rooted act that workers have utilized throughout history to attempt to rectify inequitable working conditions. 

Trujillo made it clear that what’s at stake is about more than money. It’s about being on the right side of history. It’s about a company that made immense profits on the backs of workers who they endangered during a worldwide pandemic. That company is now being held accountable by the workers that carry it, and it’s up to them to make the just decision. 

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers workplace issues, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.