Monday, April 7, 2014

UPS Fires Workers for Walk-Out

UPS has escalated its retaliation against 250 workers who walked off the job for 90 minutes on Feb. 26 to protest the firing of a fellow union brother, Jairo Reyes, at the Masbeth hub in Queens, N.Y. (See our earlier story at On March 6 the company informed all 250 drivers they were being given “working terminations.” The drivers had stayed on the job while their union, Teamsters Local 804, negotiated with the company on a resolution to the dispute.

On March 31, the company fired 20 of the 250 workers, walking them off the property at the end of their shift. According to UPS spokesperson Steve Gaut, the fired drivers were chosen at random out of the list of employees who had participated in the protest.

Local 804 is fighting back against UPS’s strong-armed tactics. On April 3, a press conference was held on the steps of City Hall demanding that UPS reinstate the drivers. Officers from the New York City Central Labor Council, TWU, SEIU 32-B, New York Nurses, and other unions, and more than a dozen elected officials including NYC Public Advocate Letitia James spoke in support of the fired workers.

Attention was called to the $43 million contract that UPS has with the state of New York and a sweetheart deal the company has with the city to pay pennies on the dollar for parking tickets (saving them some $15 million a year).

Local 804 President Tim Sylvester said, “UPS takes millions from the city and yet it’s going to bankrupt 250 families just because our guys stood up for a fellow worker.” All working people must rally in defense of the 250 fired UPS drivers. Their fight is our fight. For more information go to

> The article above was written by Dave Bernt and is reprinted from Socialist Action newspaper.

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