What in the world is going on?
During a hearing on Tuesday, Republican Senator Markwayne Mullin and Teamsters General President Sean O’Brien engaged in a heated exchange that culminated in a physical challenge.
According to Newsweek, O’Brien, present to address the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, had previously played a pivotal role in securing wage increases and benefits for United Parcel Service (UPS) employees, averting a potential long-term strike in the delivery industry.
Mullin, questioning O’Brien’s demeanor, highlighted five social media posts where O’Brien allegedly referred to him as a “greedy CEO.” The tension escalated during the hearing when Mullin challenged O’Brien to settle the dispute physically, prompting an exchange of words and a stand-off. Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders intervened, reminding Mullin of his role as a U.S. senator and urging him to sit down.
After the incident, Mullin defended his actions, stating that he didn’t initiate the confrontation but responded to being called out by O’Brien. The feud between the two had its origins in earlier verbal clashes during a hearing on unionization, where O’Brien accused Mullin of fraud in his business practices.
Despite the discord, a tentative deal was reached in July between UPS and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, positively impacting over 340,000 employees. O’Brien emphasized the importance of the federal government not interfering in the collective bargaining process, ultimately securing favorable conditions for UPS workers.
Fist fight starts in Congress pic.twitter.com/9nA8IpcNt0
— Jane Adams (@iLoveJaneAdams) November 14, 2023