Letter from Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa to UPS CEO David Abney
Hoffa Expresses Outrage Regarding UPS's 70-Hour Work Week for Teamster Package Car Drivers
December 4, 2017
Dear Mr. Abney:
On behalf of the 250,000 Teamster-represented UPS employees, I want to express my outrage and concern over the Company’s decision to implement an 8-day/70-hour workweek for package car drivers. Your decision was made without any consultation with the Local Unions that represent UPS employees and, apparently, without any regard for the physical toll that will result from working the additional hours the Company will compel. And it callously ignores the plans they may have made for spending time with their families during this holiday season.
As you know, we have instructed our Local Unions to utilize all contractual and legal remedies available to protest the Company’s actions. I fail to understand how the Company neglected to take the steps necessary to ensure that it had a sufficient number of trained workers available to meet the demand generated by the digital economy. This is, after all, the third consecutive year in which cyber Monday purchases have overwhelmed the Company’s capacity to deliver packages for the holidays. After experiencing this problem in two prior years, and having had to apologize and compensate customers for service failures in 2015 and 2016, I would have assumed that you would have hired a sufficient number of seasonal employees and/or trained enough regular employees to provide the services to your customers to avoid similar problems this year. Instead, you have apparently failed to manage your business again and are content to shift the burden and responsibility for making deliveries to your already overworked employees.
UPS is obligated under the terms of its collective bargaining agreement to provide a safe workplace for its employees and to consult with the signatory Local Unions before making unilateral changes in the terms of conditions of its workers. While implementation of the new work schedule breaches the Company’s commitment to inform the Union of changes and provide the opportunity for discussions, the more serious betrayal is to the workers who will be required to work inhumane hours, subjecting them to increased chance of injury, and depriving them of time to prepare themselves and their families for the holidays. The Company’s lack of concern for their wellbeing is inexcusable. There are some injuries that cannot simply be redressed by paying premium pay; UPS cannot compensate employees for fatigue, injury, or time with families that will be lost.
I assure you the Union will make every effort at the bargaining table to ensure that its members will not have to pay the price for the Company’s mismanagement in the future.
James P. Hoffa