UPS is reportedly is firing 250 drivers for walking off their jobs during a February protest that lasted 90 minutes. The protesting drivers work in Queens, New York, according to a Yahoo! News report on Thursday.
Twenty of the workers who are being fired were let go after their Monday work shifts while another 230 workers were given notices of their termination. The 230 workers who were given notices of termination were informed that they will be fired as soon as UPS has trained their replacements.
The workers who are being fired at this time protested Jairo Reyes’ termination of employment. Reyes had been employed with UPS for a long time and had been fired due to an hours’ dispute.
Due to the firings, politicians in the Queens, New York area are now threatening to end city contracts that give UPS millions of dollars of savings on parking fines. Jimmy Van Bramer, a New York City councilman, said that UPS took a grievance with one employee and turned it into notices of termination with 250 workers. Bramer said that the situation is outrageous. According to the New York City politician, the fired employees are good, hardworking employees who have a contract for UPS and to try and break this contract – virtually breaking the union – is something that is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated.
In response, UPS said that UPS will likely have to fire more employees if the city changes the contract it has with New York City – because they won’t need as many workers for having less work for employees. Logically, UPS says that altering the contract it has with the city will impact workers who weren’t involved with the work stoppage and impact their livelihoods.
UPS maintains that work stoppage is not an approved way of resolving workers’ conflicts, according to the contract they have with their employees.
UPS has 1,400 workers at the Maspeth distribution center where the work stoppage took place on Feb. 26.