Unfair Production Harassment at UPS

May 20, 2011: UPS is coming under fire for unfair production standards and the company’s blame-the-worker approach to safety.

Left: UPS Teamsters in New York have held a series of rallies against production harassment featuring an eye-catching inflatable Fat Cat strangling a UPS worker. The media has provided sympathetic coverage of members’ concerns about safety and driver fatiIn a report in the New York Times, Chicago Local 705 members exposed UPS’s relentless production harassment and management pressure to suppress the reporting of workplace injuries.

Other Teamster locals are also taking action and getting into the media. Boston Local 25 recently pulled out of UPS’s safety committees.

Teamsters Local 804 has held a series of demonstrations against production harassment at UPS buildings across metro New York.

The International Union called for a national day of action. Stickers saying Unfair Production Harassment were distributed to local unions. But with only one week’s advance notice, participation was uneven.

“After years of outrageous violations, it’s good to see the IBT at least trying to do something,” said John Youngermann, a Local 688 UPS Teamster and a member of the TDU Steering Committee. “But it’s going to take a lot more than stickers to stop production harassment and unsafe working conditions at UPS.”

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I understand the idea behind creating better working standards against harrassment on production, but taking away the safety committees has created an even worse working environment in which I think the union has failed to acknowledge. Handing out stickers for a day did NOTHING. Having an hourly committee that was committed to putting managment in their place and keeping employees safe had far more of an effect of how employees were treated in regards to safety, and production than handing out stickers for a day. Now there is nothing promoting safety or any incentives or rewards to keep our fellow employees safe. When I asked our Union rep. questions I was given a nasty attitude. I thought to myself " wow this is the union im in? These are the people I pay union dues to?". Needless to say quite dissapointing. Now production standards are worse, and the safety of our employees is in constant jeopardy. Way to go! When I see some results from our local union maybe I will be proud to be a teamster again, but I highly doubt it.