scorecardUPS drivers' $170,000 pay package has some Amazon drivers thinking it's time to quit. They make about $18 an hour.
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UPS drivers' $170,000 pay package has some Amazon drivers thinking it's time to quit. They make about $18 an hour.

Jordan Hart   

UPS drivers' $170,000 pay package has some Amazon drivers thinking it's time to quit. They make about $18 an hour.
Careers2 min read
  • Drivers for an Arkansas-based Amazon DSP say their coworkers could be leaving before peak season.
  • Jokes and memes are being shared around their facility about UPS drivers winning a $170,000 deal.

UPS drivers are slated to receive $170,000 in total pay under a new contract, and that has hourly Amazon drivers – who make close to minimum wage in some places – wondering if it's time to move on.

Delivery drivers are getting more candid about their pay online after the news of UPS reaching a deal with the Teamsters union spread throughout the industry. The pay gap between UPS drivers and Amazon drivers has even inspired memes on Reddit.

When Amazon drivers talk to UPS drivers
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The memes refer to Amazon's contracted drivers as "broke" compared to UPS drivers who make six figures, including benefits, in some areas.

Two Arkansas-based drivers who work for an Amazon Delivery Service Partner, or DSP, told Insider the joke is on them.

Jordan Talmon, 24, has only been at the company since May, and he's already eyeing other options. He makes about $18 per hour after receiving a $1 raise last week – a move he and some of his coworkers believe was in response to the UPS raise.

"It's a dollar raise. I wasn't really that excited about it, honestly," Talmon told Insider. "Seems kind of pitiful compared to UPS."

He said he believed the company itself was responsible for his wage, but an Amazon spokesperson told Insider that DSPs determine the exact amount.

"Driver pay is set by DSPs, subject to a minimum pay standard that is set by contract with each DSP," Simone Griffin said in a statement. "We actively audit DSPs to ensure compliance with our minimum pay and other contractual requirements."

Hunter Deaver, a 34-year-old driver who's worked at the same DSP as Talmon for over a year, told Insider he makes about $18.50 per hour. His starting pay was $16.50 when he first took the job, Deaver said.

As they load up for the day, he said, drivers sometimes joke or mention leaving for a higher paying UPS job in time for the hectic holiday season.

"I think it puts Amazon in this situation where they're going to have to decide if they want to keep quality drivers or not," Deaver said.

A group of California-based drivers successfully unionized at their DSP and joined Teamsters in April. Over the years, drivers and DSPs have expressed their concerns over working conditions and the expectation to deliver up to 350 packages today.

A sentiment that both Talmon and Deaver echoed. Both said they encounter UPS drivers and realize the Amazon drivers are delivering "twice as many" packages.

"While the number of packages can vary based on the delivery area and customer demand, on average, they deliver 250 packages per delivery route. Delivery drivers have two 15-minute breaks and one 30-minute break each day," Griffin told Insider on behalf of Amazon.




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