UPS CEO addresses voters, calls politics a ‘purpose’ for the company

As the midterm elections loom this week, UPS CEO David Abney said in an interview that his company is prepared to make deliveries of everything from ballots to condoms, but he also addressed why the company isn’t required to provide shippers with information about candidate and ballot results, despite its promise to “choose race, choice and gender” by serving consumers.

“That is a state-by-state ruling, but for us to tell them something we don’t know about certain elections, we have a lot of other races we also have to [deliver on],” Mr. Abney said in an interview with Tom Keene on his WJR 970 AM show. He noted that UPS didn’t need to tip its hand about the past election results for a UPS recipient because it was instructing voters to only get packages from one company.

“It doesn’t matter if they vote for Democrats or Republicans,” he said. “Whether it’s General Motors or FedEx, whether it’s Coke or Pepsi, we’ve had to pass along these messages.”

Mr. Abney said that this was just one of the dozens of days in which UPS is required to help consumers. Mr. Keene then pointed out that “for every baby you deliver, you deliver a ballot” and asked Mr. Abney what his company would be prepared to do if another president appealed to Americans to vote for only the Republicans.

“Our Board of Directors and our chairman and members of our management team understand what we do. We’re certainly vigilant about how we do it,” Mr. Abney replied. “And if we even think about not delivering ballots to different levels of elections, the Board of Directors and our leadership team would tell me that I should go to jail.”

The Indianapolis Star reported last week that U.S. Postal Service workers are being deployed to deliver political mailers to Target customers in 11 states — a move the Post Office said was unrelated to politics. After the report came out, the National Association of Letter Carriers issued a statement that said, “Politics should be kept separate from the delivery of mail.”

In the WJR interview, Mr. Abney also discussed the importance of UPS’s diplomatic efforts, as the company has delivered tens of millions of pounds of humanitarian aid to Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

“A lot of countries, especially at this stage in our history, are looking for us to help them,” he said. “This past month, we’ve worked with Russia to send more than a million food packages to people across that country. We’ve been working with them since 1998 and we’re still sending trucks full of food there.”

Mr. Abney said that UPS is helping “the Red Cross build a medical facility, a hospice, to help Russian nationals.”

“We’re doing more in Russia today than we ever did in the past,” he added.

Read the full story on the Indy Star.

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