When your a major US company in today's marketplace you have unique advantages. Profits can be up or down, but at least you can tell the workers where to stick with with apparent impunity. Such was the happening in New York this week.
UPS is firing 250 Queens, N.Y., drivers for walking off the job during a 90-minute protest in February.That's right. One worker felt as though he was being taken advantage of, his friends stood up for him.. and now everyone is fired.
The company dismissed 20 of the workers after their shifts Monday and issued notices of termination to another 230 employees, notifying them that they will be fired once the company has trained their replacements, UPS spokesman Steve Gaut told Business Insider.
The workers were protesting the dismissal of longtime employee and union activist Jairo Reyes, who was fired over an hours dispute, according to Gaut.
However, city data from 2006 shows UPS paid nearly $20 million in parking fines that year. That amount fell to $1 million a quarter for parking fines in 2013, after Mayor Bloomberg created the stipulated-fine program, according to published reports.Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/...
“UPS takes millions from the city and yet it’s going to bankrupt 250 families just because our guys stood up for a fellow worker,” said Sylvester.
A UPS spokesman said the drivers knew their jobs were on the line when they chose to walk out.
The workers were protesting the firing of Jairo Reyes, a 24-year-employee and union activist, said Sylvester.
Several city politicians hope to bring both sides to the table for talks.
“These are middle class jobs that sustain families, and we can ill afford to have (so many) adversely affected by a rash decision,” said Public Advocate Letitia James, who’s written UPS a letter asking the company to abandon its hard-line approach. “We’ve given UPS breaks, particularly as it relates to this (parking) program,” James said. “They should not treat workers in this manner.”
When an employee was fired over a dispute on hours and overtime payment, his fellow employees stood up for him. In a short protest to mark the fact that his was unsatisfactory. The result? UPS fires everyone involved.
The City, which provides UPS millions of dollars in revenues told UPS this method of termination of a dispute was unacceptable. UPS response:
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/...
"UPS appreciates its business with the New York public offices," Gaut said. "Ultimately if that business is reduced or eliminated, the result will be reduced need for UPS employees to serve the pick-up and delivery requirements of City offices, potentially impacting the livelihoods of the many local UPS employees that did not join in the illegal work stoppage."
UPS employs 1,400 workers at the Maspeth distribution center where the strike took place on Feb. 26.
"When a group of 250 employees walk out for 90 minutes it is a significant disruption in the delivery of parcels or packages to customers on that day," Gaut said. "We get penalties if we don't deliver on time."
For that reason, strikes are not an approved method of conflict resolution in UPS' contract with the union, he said.
The local branch of the Teamsters union that represents the dismissed workers has described the firings as "a heartless attack on drivers and their families."
"The company fired a group of drivers to try to divide us, create panic, or try to get Local 804 to cave in and sell out. That is not going to happen," the union wrote on its website.
In other words, UPS would like to hold the government hostage.
Over the last few decades we have so weekend the position of bargaining and employee rights that we have setup events like the firings in Queens. UPS knows that they can 'get away' with this and demand more.. after all, we all know UPS is a struggling business that barely can afford to pay it's drivers, right?
ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 30, 2014-- UPS (NYSE:UPS) today released details regarding fourth quarter 2013 results. Diluted earnings per share totaled $1.25, a $0.07 decline from 2012 fourth quarter adjusted results. Average daily package volume increased 6.0%, as total deliveries in December surged 20%. Significantly higher than predicted volume and inclement weather contributed to excess operating costs in the U.S., negatively affecting results.
Cash FlowYes, hard times at UPS.
For the year ended Dec. 31, UPS generated $5.3 billion in free cash flow, producing a net income-to-cash conversion ratio of more than 120%. The company paid dividends of $2.3 billion, an increase of nearly 9% per share over the prior year, and repurchased more than 43 million shares for approximately $3.8 billion.
UPS Drivers are fairly compensated, but their job security, as shown here is questionable. As we continue down a path of valuing investors in a product significantly higher than the employees that make the product and as long as society accepts it, this is what you get.
Now, 230 employees are finding themselves without a job. They will be out of a job because for 90 minutes they protested on behalf of a fellow terminated employee. They don't do brain surgery. No one died. But they dared to speak up for a union activist who wasn't being properly paid.
And if anyone tells UPS it's wrong, UPS assures us they can always fire more people.