Warning Cookies are used on this site to provide the best user experience. If you continue, we assume that you agree to receive cookies from this site. OK

After her husband nearly died from heatstroke, she took her fight to the highest levels

today 10/11/2023
August 2016 was, at the time, the planet's hottest month on record. In Freehold, New Jersey, where Jim Klenk was driving his usual route for UPS, midday temperatures were hitting highs in the 80s and 90s. During one of those punishing late-summer days, Klenk, who was 58, started feeling sick. He was disoriented, his wife, Theresa Klenk, recalled. He hadn't been able to urinate all day. Like most of America's more than 1.5 million parcel delivery drivers, Jim drove a vehicle that lacked air conditioning. On a typical shift, he would be in and out of his truck every few minutes, spending the bulk of his time in the back cargo area, where temperatures can exceed 120 degrees, according to the Teamsters union, which represents UPS drivers. Theresa, a nurse, said Jim didn't want an ambulance or a trip to the ER. Eventually, though, she managed to get him to the hospital where she worked. He was already in kidney failure by the time they arrived. "They pulled me out and asked me what Jim's last wishes would be," she said. Heatstroke, one of the most common and most deadly heat-related illnesses, had put Jim in acute renal failure, Theresa said. But he got lucky, and he was able to go home after five days in the hospital. For Theresa, Jim's close call was a turning point. At the time, she said, no UPS drivers wanted to speak up about the increasingly brutal conditions for fear of being reprimanded. She felt uniquely positioned to begin advocating for change. The physics of staying cool While it may seem surprising in the 21st century that delivery trucks would lack air conditioning, the problem of keeping drivers cool is complicated. Unlike long-haul truckers, the people delivering packages door to door are behind the wheel for only a few minutes at a time. They're mostly on their feet, retrieving boxes from the back and hauling them to their destination. According to UPS, drivers stop on average every three minutes — barely enough time for air-conditioning to make a dent. But as record temperatures grip the planet — this summer was the hottest on record, by a significant margin — delivery drivers are clamoring for any relief they can get. This year's record heat caused dozens of deaths, filled some hospitals to pandemic levels and prompted government warnings about avoiding extended exposure to heat. Still, there are no laws in place compelling employers to protect workers from the heat. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, began the process of drafting a heat standard for workplaces nearly two years ago, and it's not clear when, or if, those rules will be put in place. Business groups including the US Chamber of Commerce object to such rules, arguing that the question of heat safety is too complex to apply common guidance across industries. But labor advocates say the rules are long overdue. Officially, there were 436 workplace deaths between 2011 and 2021 due to exposure to high heat, or roughly 40 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Experts say those numbers grossly underestimate the number of actual deaths from heat exposure on the job. Because heat illness can impair cognitive function, people may make mistakes on the job that appear unrelated to the temperature. Excessive heat is a problem across the parcel-delivery industry. About a third of all US Postal Service vehicles currently have air conditioning, a spokesperson said. A FedEx representative told CNN that all vehicles owned by FedEx are air-conditioned, though the majority of its FedEx Ground fleet is operated by independent contractors. "Safety is always our priority, and we encourage our team members and service providers across FedEx to take precautions in the hot weather by staying hydrated, taking frequent breaks, and recognizing the signs of heat-related illnesses," FedEx said in a statement. An Amazon spokesperson said all company-branded vehicles are air-conditioned and always have been.
Stay Connected
Подпишитесь на нашу рассылку и получайте информацию о выходе новых статей, информацию об эксклюзивных скидках и другое
Или же подпишитесь на наш Telegram, чтоб всегда быть в курсе наших новостей.

Recent posts


No shortage of Christmas trees this year, but don’t expect any red-tag deals

Chimney Pond Farms in Glenville, North Carolina is preparing for the Christmas season by ensuring an adequate supply of Christmas trees. However, the cost of real Christmas trees is increasing due to inflation and rising input costs for growers. Despite this, farms are trying to absorb the cost increases themselves rather than passing them on to customers. The retail price of Christmas trees may vary depending on the retailer's overhead costs and quantities available. Last year, the median retail price of a Christmas tree was $80, but this year's price increases may be milder due to moderated inflation. Chimney Pond Farm is taking measures to absorb cost increases and provide a memorable Christmas experience for their customers. In addition to selling trees, the farm also serves as a wedding venue to generate additional income.

Hollywood box office sales slumped in November

Movie theaters had a disappointing November as several highly anticipated films failed to generate significant box office sales. Domestic theaters earned $553.6 million, a 12% decline from the previous year and significantly lower than pre-pandemic levels. The Thanksgiving holiday corridor also underperformed, grossing $173 million compared to the average of $270 million before 2020. The films "The Marvels" and "Wish" were expected to perform better based on the success of previous Marvel Cinematic Universe and Disney animated films during the Thanksgiving period. However, these movies, along with "The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes" and "Trolls Band Together," potentially competed for the same female audience. Other factors contributing to the disappointing box office included the SAG-AFTRA strike and the delay of the sci-fi blockbuster "Dune: Part Two." Marvel's offering last year, "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever," had a strong opening, but this year "The Marvels" only grossed $46 million. "The Hunger Games" was the top movie over Thanksgiving weekend but still fell short of previous installments. The underperformance in November puts pressure on December, with the delayed "Ghostbusters" sequel and potentially lower box office revenue for "Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom." Despite the slump, domestic theaters have earned $8.26 billion this year, close to expectations for the full year. The industry hopes that the remaining films in 2023 will perform well and carry the momentum into 2024.

TikTok’s recent court victories show just how hard it might be to ban the app

TikTok has recently won two court victories that may make it more difficult for its critics to restrict its operations. In Indiana, a state judge dismissed a lawsuit against TikTok, while in Montana, a federal judge blocked a law that would have banned the app statewide. Both cases highlight the failure of efforts to regulate TikTok, as they did not comply with constitutional requirements or establish jurisdiction. These outcomes reveal the challenges policymakers face in addressing TikTok's alleged problems. Concerns about TikTok's ties to China have led to calls for a ban in the US, but most attempts have been challenged in court. Despite these controversies, TikTok continues to grow its user base and support content creators. The recent court rulings emphasize that state-level efforts have exceeded their authority and raise significant limitations on targeting TikTok. As a result, policymakers should recognize the legal hurdles they must overcome. The judges' opinions were clear and well-reasoned, focusing on legal principles rather than the political arguments surrounding TikTok. The Montana injunction, in particular, provides a strong argument for other judges reviewing similar cases. However, the impact of the Indiana decision may be limited due to the nature of state court rulings and the variation in state laws.

Target date funds: What are they and are they right for you?

If you have a 401(k) plan at work, you likely have the choice to invest in a target date fund, which is a portfolio designed to match your anticipated retirement date. A recent analysis found that the majority of plans offer target date funds and many participants have money invested in them. Target date funds typically consist of a mix of stocks and bonds and their allocation becomes more conservative as retirement approaches. These funds often include index funds and are periodically rebalanced to maintain the desired allocation. Before investing in a target date fund, it's important to review its stated mission, allocation, future glide path, and expense ratio. Additionally, consider your own risk tolerance and investment goals. For those who prefer a hands-off approach to investing, target date funds can be a good option. However, if you're willing to actively manage your portfolio and take more risks, you may find target date funds too limiting.