October 18, 2006. This summer in California, UPS tried to enlist Teamsters in their effort to undermine litigation over the company’s practice of forcing employees to work off the clock.
Faced with a major lawsuit involving violations of California wage and hours laws, UPS got the legislature to pass a bill giving unionized transportation companies an exemption from laws requiring lunch breaks during specified times in work shifts. A law designed for UPS!
In an effort to get the governor to sign the bill, management not only asked members to write support letters, they also instructed Teamsters to give them back to supervisors in unsealed envelopes! UPS could use copies of such letters in court to show that some drivers did not support the case, which involves millions of dollars in pay UPS owes for overtime worked through lunch periods.
The bill was opposed by other industry groups, including the California Manufacturers and Technology Association. Other businesses probably would have welcomed the deal, but not a special deal for UPS. Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed the bill in September.