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UPS Workers Suffer in a Brooklyn Warehouse Without Air Conditioning

This about UPS workers summary was featured in Documented’s Early Arrival newsletter. You can subscribe to receive it in your inbox three times per week here.

For UPS workers in a warehouse in Brooklyn, the thought of going to work has become a real-life hell, right down to the extreme heat. 

As New York City experienced temperatures north of 90 degrees these past few weeks, workers at UPS’s Foster Avenue warehouse in Canarsie, Brooklyn, have been had to work without air conditioning.

The warehouse is poorly ventilated, affecting some of the workers’ ability to breathe. But opening the windows only lets in more heat, they say. 

In our latest story, Amir Khafagy, Documented’s Report for America Corps member who covers labor, spoke to several warehouse workers about their stifling working conditions. 

“It’s hell,” said one worker. The warehouse itself, which is covered in steel, routinely reaches north of 100 degrees. 

UPS drivers also face un-airconditioned trucks that can reach temperatures as high as 121 degrees. In Arizona and Los Angeles, there were two known cases of workers collapsing and dying on the job as a result of heat stroke and exhaustion.

UPS’ statement contrasts what these workers say: A spokesperson told Amir that heating and air cooling services are provided at the facility in Brooklyn, in addition to educational sessions about hot weather situations. 

But the workers say they aren’t seeing the implementation of such services. 

Teamsters Local 804, the union that represents UPS workers, has held several rallies demanding air conditioning in the trucks. Now, they have also launched a nationwide campaign to win a strong contract in 2023 that addresses safety and health concerns around heat illness, among other things

Besides heat, the workers also complained of several issues, including a major violation of company policy, which Amir reveals in Documented’s latest exclusive. Read the full report here for more about it.

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