SALT LAKE CITY, Utah. According to USA Today, truck drivers for UPS are considering going on strike as they continue to bargain over a new contract with their employer. The talk of strikes has some worried that their package deliveries might be disrupted if UPS can’t reach an agreement with its workers by August 1, but the strike could mean good things for the public in general. How?
When drivers have good contracts, they tend to have better working conditions. Better working conditions and hours means that drivers might be less likely to be fatigued, stressed, or sick, all factors that can affect driver safety.
We don’t think about how drivers’ contracts affect everyday people on the road, but they have an impact. A driver who can afford to feed his family on his wage doesn’t have to take on a second job. A driver who is working reasonable hours will be well-rested behind the wheel, reducing his risk to others on the road. A driver with good health insurance will take preventative health measures and will get diagnosed with conditions that can impact his performance behind the wheel sooner rather than later. Drivers who are not stressed are generally better drivers.
According to Inc., workers are fighting a proposal to have a two-tiered wage system within the company. UPS wants to start offering Sunday service and it needs to consider how workers will be compensated and how it will manage its workforce to deal with the extra day’s workload. The current proposal is to turn part-time workers into full-time workers and to compensate full-time workers $36 an hour, which is what full-time workers are currently making. Full-time workers also tend to enjoy added benefits, such as health coverage.
So, while the country might be worried that packages won’t make it home on time, a strike might be a good thing for road safety and worker safety—even if that means a short disruption in our deliveries.
That said, it isn’t likely that a strike will occur. Reports indicate that both sides have reached tentative agreements.
Even if UPS offers Sunday service, drivers will still be required to abide by federal hours of service laws and other regulations. As more people are ordering items online, delivery companies have recently seen a growth in business. This has an impact on road conditions, with more delivery trucks in neighborhood and in suburban communities. This increase in traffic on roads that may not be designed to handle heavier truck traffic could have an impact on local safety and on road traffic in general.
The risk for accidents will likely increase as more delivery trucks drive on suburban roads. If you or a loved one was hurt in a truck accident in Salt Lake City, Utah, the truck accident lawyers at the Law Office of Ralph C. Petty may be able to help you. Our firm may be able to help you seek damages for your medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Visit us at www.ralphpettylaw.com to learn more.