Hundreds of Teamsters in SoCal 572 have filed a petition and group grievance to demand that UPS address health and safety concerns and a shortage of safe parking after a driver was run over and killed at UPS in Gardena one week before Thanksgiving.
UPS Teamster Bryan Webb was struck by a package truck as he was walking to his car after work. The tragedy brought a long-simmering dispute over the company’s closure of an employee parking lot to a boil.
“This started when the company took over an employee parking lot to use it for trailers,” said Gardena Steward Carlos Silva. “The parking lot we're supposed to use is unpaved, has no lines, and turns into a lake when it rains, so members have been parking across the street."
Stewards have told management that a solution to the parking problem is needed. Currently, members are parking across the street in an Albertsons lot and have to cross a dangerous intersection at all hours of the night. The intersection isn't properly lit, leading to additional safety concerns about being followed in the middle of the night before and after work.
"This is unsafe, but they've refused to listen. In the middle of the night, a woman was followed from her car to the guard shack. Two weeks before this tragedy, another UPS member was hit by a car too, and broke both legs," Silva added.
Members Take Action
Stewards got together to file the safety grievance with the center and district managers and more than 200 Teamsters signed a petition demanding that management fix the health and safety hazard.
“This has resulted in preventable accidents, including the death of Bryan Webb. The responsibility for this tragedy lies squarely with UPS management an no one else,” the petition said.
“One member lost his life, another was injured. Countless more of us feel unsafe," said longtime Steward and activist, Omar Moreno. "Management preaches safety- and they have the power to fix this unsafe situation: give us access to a safe, paved parking lot! Instead management continues to abuse their power by harassing and threatening members with having their vehicles towed for parking across the street. Management needs to address this now, before another accident or tragedy happens."