Unity Wins for Metro-Philadelphia UPSers

UPS Teamsters in Lawnside, NJ have won PPE and improved conditions for hub workers by sticking together to stand up to management. 

Conditions in the hub just across the Delaware River from Philadelphia were a COVID-19 safety nightmare. Members were not being provided PPE or cleaning supplies. There wasn’t even soap in the bathrooms.

Members filed multiple OSHA complaints. When management still didn’t address the problems, members came together to take united action.

They built a network to involve members from every shift and department, including the preload, local sort, package and feeders.

“We made a plan to petition together in front of the building. If the people in the hub aren’t protected, neither are we,” said feeder driver Bob MacConnell. “We reached out to our Principal Officer. He gave us his support and took our concerns to management.”

Within days, UPS began providing masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer to everyone in the hub. 

“Management saw the union had our back and gave us more protection to demand improvements, including more physical distance between members working in the hub,” said Dave Faust, a part-timer on the preload. 

“Things definitely started to change faster when the company saw we were all on the same page,” said Theresa Devine, a part-timer on the midnight sort. 

Now that members have the PPE and supplies they need, it’s all about educating and informing each other to work safe. “We laid the foundation for a safer work environment, and we showed the company how strong our union can be,” said MacConnell.

Does Management Need a Push in Your Building?

Contact TDU and UPS Teamsters United. We’re a grassroots network of Teamsters helping Teamsters.

We can’t solve COVID-19. But we can give you advice on your rights and help you take action to hold management accountable using tools like grievances, OSHA, and union solidarity.

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