Full-time drivers for UPS will now make $170,000 per year. That's up from $145,000, and the Teamsters-inked deal also includes healthcare and pension benefits. People in favor of the idea include Chloe Berger of Fortune, which ran this headline on Tuesday: "UPS drivers' new $170k per year deal shows that unions (and Joe Biden) may just save the middle class after all."
EJ Antoni, a research fellow at The Heritage Foundation, sees things differently.
"What stands out is the fact that the arsonist here is playing fireman," says Antoni. "It was Joe Biden – it was 'Bidenomics' frankly – that caused prices to go through the roof, that has increased the cost of living, and that has caused so many workers, especially those in unions, to seek higher wages."
He continues: "The fact that unions are finally getting those higher wages after their members frankly have been getting skunked out of their pay for a very long time now under Joe Biden – that is not some kind of victory."
The FRC fellow also predicts shipping costs are "absolutely going to go up" as a result of this new contract.
"One of the things that drove the Yellow trucking company out of business was the fact that in order to pay the demands of the unions, it would have to have raised prices to the point where it was going to lose customers … and it was unable to stay in business," says Antoni.
"We're going to see the exact same thing now with UPS, with FedEx; we're even going to see it in other places like Amazon," he adds. "So, whether or not these companies have unionized workforces, we're seeing them have to pay higher wages in order to keep quality workers – and, again, that is all because inflation has been so bad and prices have risen so much."