Part-Timers in L.A. Demand Money for Unpaid Breaks

June 30, 2008: UPS is violating the rights of part-timers in Southern California to get breaks in their fourth and fifth hours—or to get paid for unused break time.

Now, concerned Local 396 UPSers are taking action to enforce members’ rights.

The Southwest Sort Rider gives part-time employees the right to a ten-minute rest break during their 3.5 hour shift—and an additional five minute break after their fourth hour and fifth hour on the job (Section 11 – Rest Breaks).

UPS either has to give Teamsters these breaks, combine them with their 10-minute break or pay them for their time. Since UPS never wants to interrupt the operation, the language has historically meant an extra 10-minute’s pay for part-timers who work a five-hour shift.

Teamsters at the Cerritos hub in Los Angeles say the company has systematically not paid members for their unused breaks.

This affects hundreds of Teamsters in that hub alone—and they suspect the problem is happening at other facilities.

Local 396 shop steward Lawrence Cruz has started distributing a leaflet to inform part-timers about their right to be paid for additional breaks—and other contractual rights.

Cruz also filed a class action grievance on behalf of all affected members who are not being properly paid.

“We need to make UPS pay for all the violations, not just individual claims. Our union has got to stand up for everyone and give UPS a financial incentive to stop violating members’ rights,” Cruz said.

Last year, UPS settled a wage and hour lawsuit by drivers in California for $87 million.

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