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Two weeks had already passed and I began to realize the strike would most likely continue on into the next week as well. I was anxious for the only strike in the ninety-year history of UPS to be over. The first week was almost a novelty, a rather large social event with my fellow workers. As the days passed and the second week came to a close, the novelty had worn off. My fellow Teamster members and I had stood on the picket line for two weeks now, eagerly awaiting word of a contract agreement between the union and the company. As the television cameras rolled on an early Thursday morning in the summer of 1997, a local Dallas news reporter asked me what I thought about the word of a contract agreement, which had been reached just a few hours earlier. I replied with what I felt was the proper and correct response at the time, “If it is true, then I am very excited about it and I can’t wait to get back to work”.
We often did not know what to believe on the picket line, even when it came from the media, who were usually better informed than we were. It was hard to rely on information received from the company or the union, as it usually turned out to be only marginally truthful. I often wondered about the real purpose of the strike, knowing what both sides were claiming, but questioning what was fact and what was propaganda.
One thing I knew beyond doubt was that I never wanted to be placed in this situation again. By the time that word of a final agreement reached us, I had already made up my mind that I would never again be involved in another UPS strike as a labor worker. The only way I ever want to be involved in another labor strike is in the role of a lawyer, with an integral part in the contract negotiations.
The one good thing that did come out of the strike was my own decision of what I wanted to do with my future. While watching the evening news every night of the strike, looking for any new developments, I became captivated with negotiations between the Teamster and UPS lawyers.
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