On Feb. 26, UPS fired a Maspeth, N.Y. UPS worker known for being a union activist. In a “wildcat” protest, 250 other UPS drivers from Teamsters local 804 walked off the jobs, and it appears that UPS has fired them, too, in response. There is nothing in the news media about this, but word is starting to spread.
Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, referring to UPS, wrote “shame on them” on his Facebook page:
If UPS fired 238 drivers for standing up for their rights, shame on them. UPS has certain responsibilities —both codified in law, and as a major company in our economy and society — among them to meet with their union and not to fire their entire workforce. Negotiation is always better than unilateral actions that harm peoples’ lives.
MoveOn.org has a petition circulating:
In Maspeth, NY, two weeks ago, UPS fired a driver and longtime union activist without the fair hearing he was entitled to. Outraged and aware that violating one worker’s rights threatened them all, other drivers walked off of their job to stand in solidarity with their fellow worker.
In retaliation, UPS has now notified all 250 drivers who participated in the protest that they are on notice of termination. In other words, “You’re fired.” The well-being of these drivers and their families hangs in the balance because they spoke out against a company that violated workers’ rights.
UPS shouldn’t ship pink slips to their drivers just for speaking out–what should have been a routine disciplinary matter became an attack on hundreds of working families. It’s bad for their brand, their employees, and most importantly, their customers.
Tell UPS that it’s not okay to retaliate against their workers. The drivers are committed to negotiating a fair resolution–why can’t UPS do the same and take back the notices of termination?
This underscores exactly why we need a robust NLRB, and a Labor secretary that stands up for workers, and not just for corporate interests.