Move Comes After UPS Unilaterally Implements 70-hour Workweek
December 6, 2017
In the wake of Friday’s decision by UPS Management to change from a 60-hour/7-day workweek to a 70-hour/8-day workweek, Teamsters Local 174 package car drivers have ceased participation in all Safety Committees from UPS locations in Seattle, Shoreline, Tukwila, Pacific, Valley, and Redmond.
“UPS’s decision to force overwhelmed and overworked drivers to put in an additional ten hours on the road every week shows that they place absolutely no value on safety,” said Teamsters Local 174 Secretary-Treasurer Rick Hicks. “We are not going to waste our drivers’ time attending meetings to promote ‘safety’ with a Company that clearly has no regard for their welfare. Safety is not just a buzzword to the Teamsters and our members, but apparently the same cannot be said for UPS. We will not lend legitimacy to a UPS ‘safety’ program that is nothing but lip service and makes no attempt at pursuing actual safe practices.”
UPS’s unilateral implementation of the new 70-hour/8-day workweek comes after more than two years of understaffing at that Company, which has led to a disastrous peak season with mountains of undelivered packages. The Company has implemented impossible standards that new drivers cannot achieve, leading to a washout rate for new drivers of well over fifty percent. Because of this understaffing issue, UPS has opted to force the burden of delivering its excess volume onto its current workforce – many of whom have already been working 60 hours and 6 days a week for months.
“There is nothing safe about driving a large vehicle through residential and commercial areas while exhausted,” Hicks continued. “If UPS intends to move forward with this 70-hour/8-day workweek, they will do it without our consent. We have already filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board due to the Company’s implementation of this change in working conditions without bargaining with us, and we will continue to boycott these Safety Committees until UPS demonstrates that they have an actual commitment to safety.”
The Safety Committees at each building consist of Teamster members from every job classification, as well as representatives from the Company side. Between all of the UPS buildings under the jurisdiction of Teamsters Local 174, there are nearly 70 package car drivers serving on Safety Committees. As of today, all of those drivers have ceased participation in those committees.
Founded in 1909, Teamsters Local 174 represents 7,200 working men and women in the Seattle area, including over 2,000 members employed at UPS. “Like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TeamstersLocal174.