April 30, 2010: John Youngermann, a TDU member and UPS feeder driver out of the Earth City, Missouri, hub won an important OSHA ruling that supported a driver’s right to refuse to drive unsafe equipment.
On April 22, 2010, OSHA awarded Youngermann compensatory and punitive damages as well as back pay with overtime and interest.
Youngermann phoned the company to try to get the equipment repaired without success, and finally refused to pull a trailer with inoperable tail lights and side marker lights. He was terminated for his refusal and later was returned to work under the grievance procedure, but without back pay.
Youngermann is represented by attorney Paul Taylor, the co-author of the STAA Handbook, and an expert in such cases.
"UPS is a tough company to challenge but TDU encouraged me to take on this case," reported Taylor. "I'm really happy we got this ruling for John and all the other UPS drivers this decision is bound to help.”
"I am thankful for classes I attended with Paul Taylor at past TDU conventions. His STAA book is a great resource," Youngermann stated. “Many good employees are willing to work with UPS on safety issues. UPS needs to tap into this potential instead of trying to control outspoken employees and safety committees. This decision is an important step since UPS has never had a procedure in place when equipment is unsafe to move, instead they try to coerce drivers to move faulty equipment.”
Another important part of this ruling is that UPS must display a drivers’ rights poster in every UPS facility and in its monthly magazine.
UPS may appeal to delay justice, but we believe justice will prevail in the end.
The OSHA decision is available here.