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UPS Driver Who Asked Customer To Spray Her With Water Hose Sparks Debate About Their Working Conditions

Screenshots from @rakeshasanders TikTok

A UPS employee delivering packages on a hot day has recently gone viral for a video showing not only how hot it’s been outside in the US, but also the tough working conditioners UPS drivers face.

It’s no secret that delivery drivers don’t have the best working conditions. We’ve all heard horror stories such as Amazon drivers being forced to pee in bottles to save time and UPS drivers collapsing from heat stroke.

One UPS employee got so hot on the job that she decided to ask a stranger to help her out.

A UPS employee posted a TikTok of herself asking a stranger to spray her with his hose so she could cool down on the job.

Rakesha Sanders (@rakeshasanders) has multiple videos on her account where she talks about how much she loves her job as a UPS driver, even despite the challenges — bad weather, uncomfortable interactions with customers, vehicle issues, and so on. One recent TikTok showed her asking a nearby man to spray her with his water hose so she could cool down on a hot day.

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The man in the video, Tony, was happy to help Sanders out. He also offered her water and gave her a Gatorade according to a reply she posted on the video.

Commenters on the video loved the sweet interaction between Sanders and Tony. “Mr. Tony proves not all heroes wear capes, some just have a water hose,” one comment said.

Other comments expressed sympathy towards Sanders for having to work in such brutal heat with no A/C. For context, most UPS trucks don’t currently have air conditioning, despite the climate crisis causing continually rising temperatures. According to NBC, temperatures up to 152 degrees have been recorded inside the trucks, and over a hundred employees have been hospitalized for heat-related injuries.

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Experts believe that the actual number of employees who suffered heat-related injuries is actually much higher, since heat illness symptoms may not always be recognized as such, and companies aren’t required to report illnesses “unless a worker is admitted to a hospital or dies.”

“I sure hope y’all get A/C in those trucks soon. Appreciate your hard work,” one comment said. Another said, “They need to put air conditioning in the trucks. It is unbearable in the summer.”

The UPS workers’ union has been in contract negotiations since May 2023.

The Teamsters Union was finally able to reach a tentative agreement with UPS just last month to add air conditioning to the company trucks.

“The Teamsters and UPS agreed to tentative language to equip the delivery and logistics company’s fleet of vehicles with air conditioning systems, new heat shields, and additional fans,” a union statement read. The Teamsters Union represents 340,000 UPS workers across the country.

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The union is currently negotiating with UPS for a fair contract and has voted to authorize a strike if a deal is not reached by the end of this month. If the Teamsters do go on strike, it would be the largest in US history.

As stated in NBC’s article, UPS employees have felt pressured by their management to finish their work even when feeling ill and were discouraged from taking breaks or seeking medical help.

With unsafe working conditions and wages that don’t keep up with the workload, dedicated workers like Sanders suffer. UPS employees need to be compensated fairly for their hard work — they can’t all rely on Tony to keep them cool on hot days.

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Jessica Bracken is a writer living in Davis, California. She covers entertainment and news for YourTango.

This article originally appeared on YourTango

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