UPS Western Region Supplemental Leaders Led by Union Chairman Andy Marshall Reach Agreement Further Protecting Employees During COVID-19 Crisis

Letter of Understanding addresses most serious member safety concerns while mitigating effects of excessive volumes on drivers

The escalating COVID-19 crisis has been hard on everyone, and it has especially proven challenging for Teamster members at UPS. These hardworking Teamsters are not only on the front lines of the fight as “essential” workers interacting with the public every day, but they are also dealing with heavier than normal volumes – in some locations, peak level delivery volumes – and an employer who has been generally dismissive of CDC guidelines for keeping them safe. However, after a weekend of intense negotiations in response to the COVID–19 crisis, and for the purpose of providing continued service to the community at large during this crisis, UPS management and the Teamsters Western Region Bargaining Committee have reached an agreement that addresses our members’ largest concerns during this pandemic.

One of the most serious issues our members have brought to our attention is UPS’s refusal to provide basic cleaning supplies to workers, including hand sanitizer and disinfecting products for trucks, DIAD boards, etc. We are proud to announce that this new Letter of Agreement (LOA) puts in writing that UPS management must provide these products when possible. We all understand that there is a shortage of some supplies; however, if supplies are available – and the Union will work with UPS on locating distributors of these supplies – then UPS must provide them. This list includes masks and gloves when requested, as well as sanitary supplies (i.e. hand sanitizer, antibacterial soap, paper towels, etc.).

We have also heard from members that UPS has been taking an extremely lax approach to social distancing guidelines, which could also foster potential spread of COVID-19. This new LOA addresses this as well. It bans all supervisory management on-car rides (i.e. OJS, Training, etc.), with the exception of return to work from injury rides, post-accident rides, or rides for training of new hires for the duration of this LOA. It also bans utilization of all on-car helpers for the duration of this LOA.

The other major problem facing our UPS members has been excessive volumes, which is unsurprising given the current situation. However, due to staffing issues at Amazon which are projected to worsen over the coming weeks, UPS has warned the Teamsters that they predict volumes to rise to peak season levels over the next several days. This will put further strain on employees who are already overworked, and so the LOA takes action to mitigate this impact.

Firstly, the LOA allows any driver working during their scheduled vacation to be paid at their overtime rate for all hours worked. Secondly, the LOA allows any current part-time employee to volunteer to deliver packages out of their own vehicle. They will be paid the top RPCD hourly rate to do so; they will be capped at eight hours; and they will not work their regular part-time shift on days they choose to deliver packages.

UPS has also agreed that before they can take volunteers from the part-time ranks, they must first ensure that all full-time drivers are working or have been offered work in a UPS truck or a rented truck. No current drivers (full-time Regular Package Car Drivers, 22.4 full-time Combination Drivers, full-time 22.3 Combination Job employees who are qualified to drive, full-time 22.3 Combination Air Drivers, full-time Air Drivers, part-time Air Drivers, part-time Early AM Drivers, part-time Cover Drivers and part-time Utility Drivers) are to suffer any reduction of overtime or any loss of work as a result of using the part-timers to bolster the ranks of current delivery drivers.

The LOA will potentially be of help to drivers at UPS Freight and CSI who are currently facing layoff. Under the terms of the LOA, laid-off drivers from UPS Freight and UPS CSI may be hired to perform feeder work when needed. The Company agrees to give these laid-off workers priority for this work before hiring outside the current workforce. Laid-off UPS Freight and CSI employees may also be hired to do package delivery work if UPS is not able to get enough part-timers to volunteer.

The LOA is extremely flexible for Local Unions who choose to participate. It is currently set to expire at 11:59PM on April 28, 2020, but can be renegotiated or extended in 14-day increments beginning five days prior to its expiration. In addition, any Local Union that does not feel the Agreement is working well for their members can unilaterally withdraw from the LOA either at its April 28 expiration, or at the expiration of any 14-day extensions that follow.

“Over the past several weeks, we have heard everything our members at UPS have said, and have been doing everything in our power to solve their problems one by one,” said Joint Council 42 President Randy Cammack. “The national MOU guaranteeing additional paid sick leave was a critical first step, and we feel this Western Region LOA will take a major bite out of the remaining problems UPSers are dealing with on a daily basis. We appreciate the hard work our members at UPS do every day to keep this company and this country running, and we will continue to work hard on your behalf to keep you safe and healthy during this critical time.” 

The LOA will affect UPS members at the following locations at this time and are subject to increase as needed: 

Arizona: Mesa, Tucson, Phoenix (Local 104)
Oregon: Hillsboro (Local 162)
Southern California: Ontario, San Bernardino, Palm Springs (Local 63); Santa Barbara (Local 186); San Fernando, Van Nuys, Main St. (Local 396); San Diego, Chula Vista (Local 542); Laguna (Local 952)
Utah: Salt Lake City (Local 222)
Washington: Seattle, Redmond, Shoreline, Port of Tacoma (Local 174); Kennewick (Local 839)