Thursday, April 3, 2014

UPS starts firing drivers, outrage spreads

The video above is from Teamsters local 804. The article below is  Reprinted from Fightback news
The support the Teamsters have received in their petition drive is significant but history has shown that such activities as petition gathering and boycotts are not enough and should supplement the shutting down of production.  NYC is very much a union town with large memberships the Teamsters, Afscme and the teachers unions. The ATU also has a significant presence in the transit sector and the ILA on the docks.  then there is the construction unions.

This aggressive move by the UPS bosses can be driven back by a united effort on behalf of the entire labor movement in NYC.  Relying on local Democratic politicians will not stop the offensive of the 1% on workers, our communities and our organizations.  Shutting production and using direct action tactics, will make UPS bosses retreat.  Picketing the homes and communities where the people who made this decision live is one activity. Leafleting where they send their children to school, where they worship, where they shop is another tactic to accompany the shutting down of production. We must take the battle to them like they do to us.  We can involve community with demands of more jobs etc. We can win if we rely and build upon our own strength.  RM

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.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is my understanding that UPS violated the contract first. Those who made the decision to do that should be terminated. People should stop shipping by UPS until the workers are returned to their jobs.