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UPS starts firing drivers, outrage spreads

By staff |
April 2, 2014
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New York, NY - Following a walkout by 250 UPS drivers in Maspeth, Queens, and the subsequent unjust retaliation by UPS, the fight for justice continues.

Workers walked out to defend a union activist and 24-year worker, Jairo Reyes, after UPS attempted to fire him through an abuse of the grievance procedure - a common practice to retaliate against workers enforcing their rights. UPS issued working terminations to the 250 brave drivers from Teamsters 804, claiming they could maintain the right to dismiss them at anytime. In response, the local union launched a national campaign of support with the aims of bringing UPS back to the table, and rescinding the terminations. The support included a national petition which garnered over 100,000 signatures in just two weeks.

Union leaders, stewards and rank-and-file activists from Local 804 hit the gates of every building in New York City educating members and gathering signatures from their 6000-person membership.

“We want to show UPS we’re united and won’t tolerate them retaliating against our brothers and sisters. UPS created this situation by violating the contract and refusing to respect the grievance procedure,” said 804 member Dustin Ponder. “The workers we talked to were eager to sign. They stand behind the drivers and our local.”

The groundswell of support spread nationwide as activists from groups like Teamsters for Democratic Union, the Vote No movement and Part Time Power at UPS circulated the petition outside gates across the country. Within days activists gathered petitions at hubs in Florida, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Philadelphia, Chicago, Rhode Island, Ohio, New Jersey and Arizona.

The union held a rally outside the distribution facility in Maspeth, Queens on March 21, where union leaders and local politicians such as New York City Public Advocate Letitia James were joined by hundreds of workers and community supporters. They demanded the company rescind the terminations and begin respecting the contract.

UPS attempted to raise the stakes on March 31 by terminating 20 workers after they completed their shifts, and stating more terminations of hard working drivers would follow. Outrage spread in a matter of days and the story quickly spread to national headlines.

The union and their allies now want to shine the spotlight on up to $60 million in subsidies New York City gives the company. “We’ve given UPS breaks, particularly as it relates to this [parking] program,” Public Advocate Letitia James said in quote given to the Daily News. “They should not treat workers in this manner.”

Local 804 issued a call for workers and community supporters to rally on April 3 at 10:00 a.m. outside city hall to continue the fight-back against UPS’ abuses of their workforce. The rally will demand that UPS reinstate all workers who walked off their jobs and rescind all outstanding terminations.

15 comments

 
ENYFDNY wrote 20 weeks 4 days ago

Fighting the good fight

Re-hire the 250 drivers UPS illegally discharged. The drivers legally protested under the direct order of a union delegate. I want to know when was the last time UPS executives went out in the cold, sleet, snow, rain or heat to deliver a package for the customers they claim they serve. Those same customers are 100% behind each driver. They wear their brown uniform with honor and perform a service with excellence. This battle isn't about 1 driver or 250 drivers, this is bigger than that. Its between Local 804 and UPS, or perhaps a clear attack against organized labor. The benefits we have, are not the result of benevolent government but the result of people that pay the ultimate sacrifice so we can have Unions. Ask any lawyer, I dare anyone. Unless you can proof you have been discriminated against, your boss could fire you because he doesn't like your face and you have no law that can protect you. I stand next to these drivers and will without a doubt join forces with them and local 804. Together we stand, divided we fall.

 
Common_Logic wrote 21 weeks 1 day ago

Union is Wrong

They walked off the job which is NOT allowed and NOT in the Union contract - their are other ways for the Union to make their voice heard and these guys (clearly led by the union thugs at the top, who are still getting paid), violated the contract - Sorry, you violate the contract there will be consequences - as I say the sad part is the thugs at the top are still getting paid - A Case Study in why NOT to join a Union -

 
Common_Logic wrote 21 weeks 1 day ago

Work or Not

Shut up and do your job and be glad you have work in the economy - Too bad the Union Thugs at the top are not the ones getting fired and the poor guys at the bottom being lead around by their noses are the ones that suffer - A Case Study in why NOT to join a Union -

 
mark salzillo wrote 21 weeks 2 days ago

I think a nationwide Ups

I think a nationwide Ups strike in support of these workers is the right thing to do .

 
Anonymous wrote 21 weeks 2 days ago

UPS is Right On This

UPS did the right thing to not back down. The 250 drivers knowingly broke the rules of the contract and impacted service to their customers and the operation of their employer. UPS had to fire them.

 
Anonymous wrote 21 weeks 2 days ago

Nonsense.

All you people care about is drivers. UPS has been fucking over their Administrative and Technical employees for decades. People who make less than 1/3rd what a "driver" makes, and do you give a shit? No.

Fuck those 250, there are 397,750 more where that came from and 320,000 of those will never make the wages these cry baby drivers do.

 
American trucker wrote 21 weeks 3 days ago

firing Americans

UPS, has forgotten that the very workers that they fired, were part of the global team that made them the successful company that they are today. I am long retired from the trucking industry. I have seen certain trends taking place, that are still happening today. Find any reason to fire the workers who have received the union/company contractual raise agreement. Ulterior motive, is to hire replacement workers at a lower scale starting rate. This is evident today by reading the advertising on the rear of each and every semi-trailer on the roads. The industry standards have been lowered so low that the American worker does not see the job as a decent paying job. The industry can not move to another country and abandon the trucking industry. Unlike the garment industry of N.Y. and Philadelphia. That thrived In years past. Along with so many industries we have lost to China, Thailand, Indonesia etc.. Industries like Steel, Shoe, toys, Appliances, Textiles and so on and so on.. Now the trend is to hire replacements for a lower rate. instead of going over seas ( which they can't with a service oriented co. They hire immigrants at a lower wage. Come on America, let's share the pie. Put our people back to work and make this the strong industrialize country that we use to be. By the way. They get incentives ( Kick backs) for hiring immigrants. on a personal note. I have had my drive way completely redone and a roof put on, only to be duped both times. When they come out to give an estimate, and you sign a contract to have the work done, a crew of illegal immigrants show up to do the work. Too late. Contract already signed!

 
Dame McKnight wrote 21 weeks 3 days ago

UPS

I am asking each party that I have shipments coming to my office/home if they're using UPS. If the answer is YES my answer is NO...delivery to me some other way or cancel my purchase.

 
Anonymous wrote 21 weeks 4 days ago

Bravo Brown

What are you going to say when the package you desparately need is delayed because these drivers violated their contract and walked out? I support the rest of the members who kept their cool, stayed on the job, and did what they are paid well to do! The time for strong arm unions has long past!

 
upsletdown wrote 21 weeks 4 days ago

UPS tried to Bribe drivers in

UPS tried to Bribe drivers in London ( United kingdom ) with free breakfast to end their strike , when it didn't work they sent office employees delivering packages under threat of dismissal ... welcome to UPS ...its logistics , behind nice smiling pictures in their banners there is Bullying and intimidation ....good Luck UPS NY drivers you have our support In England

 
Anonymous wrote 21 weeks 4 days ago

UPS

I'm sick and tired of corporations bullying their employees and treating them like slaves with no rights. This needs to stop now.

 
Anonymous wrote 21 weeks 4 days ago

Sounds like UPS is taking a

Sounds like UPS is taking a page right out of Nazi history. One person does something they don't like, let's burn them all down.

 
A. Orsburn, L743 wrote 21 weeks 4 days ago

Stand Together

My brothers and sisters, together in union, we are strong.

 
MiserableOldFart wrote 21 weeks 4 days ago

The union should stand by

The union should stand by these workers, and not give in to this vicious action. The real bullies are in the corporate ivory towers.

 
Anonymous wrote 21 weeks 4 days ago

If you walk off your job, you

If you walk off your job, you should be fired. UPS refused to be bullied by union thugs. Good for them.

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