Matthew Whaley – UPS (Local 315)
The Ten Point Commentary (Sung to the tune of A Horse With No Name, by America.) I drive through the city on a car with no name Giving space, visibility. Safe by choice is not by chance…A way to be accident free. La la, etc.
This is one of several songs that Matthew Whaley wrote to promote safety for the drivers at UPS when he served as co-chair of the safety committee. “I took the music from some old hit songs in the 70s/80s and changed the lyrics. I used to perform them at our safety conferences.”
Matthew has been a delivery driver for UPS for the past 34 years. He says he’s had the same Vacaville route for the last seven years. “I have the older part of town, with mom-and-pop stores and lots of residential customers.” In all, he generally works 10 hours per day, making anywhere from 145 to 200 drops of up to 300 pieces each day.
Matthew says that 2020 was a really difficult year to be at UPS. “We started the shutdown with a backlog and with everyone buying on-line, we barely caught up.” After many months, the company finally hired a new group of drivers who work from Tuesday through Saturday. “This change took the edge off the volume on Mondays, which makes it better all around,” he adds.
When we asked Matthew what’s cool about his job, he didn’t hesitate. “I love delivering things. It puts a smile on people’s face when they see an item they were expecting. I enjoy seeing the same people every day and interacting with them; they cheer me up and I try to cheer them up. Whether it’s my customers or my co-workers, I enjoy working with people.”
Matthew believes that having a good union job has made it easier to raise his family. “It provides a true living wage. My wife didn’t have to work; she could stay home and raise our daughters.”
He understands that the contract is really important and it’s important to stay informed about what’s in the contract. “A lot of members didn’t even vote on our last contract,” he says, “and that’s really sad. It took all of 30 seconds to complete the ballot. It’s infuriating that there are so many people who don’t really care. They had a voice and they chose not to use it.”
Today, Matthew mostly shares his musical chops with his church. But he’s got several safety-related songs in the bag. Here are lyrics from a few others. Pull out your Spotify and start singing along!
Committed to Safety (Sung to the tune of The Hanging Tree, by James Newton Howard) Are you, are you, committed to safety? To be accountable and take responsibility Accidents can happen here; prevent them so must we Are you, are you committed to safety? Yard Control (Sung to the tune of Heart of Gold, by Neil Young) I have a Vision, I'm on a mission To share a passion for Yard Control Walking through roll up doors is never good I am an advocate for Yard Control So I’m growing old I keep this passion for Yard control So I’m growing old.