UPS drivers protest ‘excessive’ 70 hour holiday work week

UPS truck drivers are protesting working 70 hours a week this holiday season because they believe that 70 hours in one work week is excessive. It was announced on Monday, December 3, 2017, that UPS drivers began protesting such working conditions in South Boston, Massachusetts.

Those protesting are claiming that 70 hours a week for drivers is “a nationwide issue jeopardizing the safety of drivers and the general public”, according to one protester.

Further, UPS is being blamed for failing to hire seasonal drivers for the holidays, but instead expecting drivers to compensate for the shortage. Regular drivers are expected to cancel their holiday plans – without any notice – to cover for UPS’s lack of planning. “Teamsters who usually show up for work 45 minutes early will instead demonstrate against the unfair move by management this holiday season.” UPS replied in a statement saying, “UPS appreciates the exceptional effort of all employees during our peak holiday shipping season when daily delivery volumes are near double the normal level.

Our employees’ scheduled work week is in compliance with Department of Transportation requirements. Union-represented employees are paid time and one-half for work above 40 hours per week and they receive the industry’s most attractive compensation and benefits program.”

Although drivers in a union would receive almost 30 hours paid time and one-half, the drivers are still not satisfied. UPS also states that “the company hires an additional 95,000 personnel to work on our facilities and as driver helpers.” If UPS fails to lighten the number of hours expected from a single driver in one week of driving time, the protestors threaten legal action.

“No package or bottom line of a balance sheet is more important than the safety and well-being of our members and the general public we serve,” said Sean O’Brien, president of Teamsters Local 25. It is estimated that between Thanksgiving and December 31st, UPS truck drivers will deliver 750 million packages across the nation.

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