Joe AllenJul 13, 2021
The Package King
A Rank and File History of UPS
Haymarket Books 2020
If the 20th Century was the American Century, it was also UPS's Century. Joe Allen's The Package King: A Rank and File History of UPS (Haymarket Books, 2020), tears down the Brown Wall surrounding one of America's most admired companies—the United Parcel Service (UPS). The company that we see everyday but know so little about. How did a company that began as a bicycle messenger service in Seattle, Washington become a global behemoth? How did it displace General Motors, the very symbol of American capitalism, to become the largest, private sector, unionized employer in the United States? And, at what cost to its workers and surrounding communities? Will it remain the Package King in the 21st Century or will be dethroned by Amazon?
Joe Allen worked for nearly a decade at UPS between its Watertown, Massachusetts and Chicago, Illinois Jefferson Street hubs. Allen's work life has largely involved different sections of freight and logistics including for such major employers as A.P.A Transport (Canton, Mass.), Yellow Freight (Maspeth, NY), and UPS. He has been a member of several Teamster local unions and a member of Teamsters for a Democratic Union.
Schneur Zalman Newfield is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Borough of Manhattan Community College, City University of New York, and the author of Degrees of Separation: Identity Formation While Leaving Ultra-Orthodox Judaism (Temple University Press, 2020). Visit him online at ZalmanNewfield.com.