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Queens Chronicle

UPS keeping 250 'fired' employees

Delivery company will instead suspend the angry workers

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Posted: Thursday, April 10, 2014 12:58 pm | Updated: 11:31 am, Thu Apr 17, 2014.

The six-week war between United Parcel Service and its 250 fired employees is finally over.

UPS and Teamsters Local 804 agreed to a compromise late Wednesday night, and the delivery company announced it will retain the 250 employees it had begun firing from its Maspeth facility in response to a walkout the workers organized in protest of a colleague’s termination on Feb. 26. 

In the deal, the union acknowledged the 90-minute walkout was unauthorized, per its labor contract, and the 250 workers will be suspended without pay for two weeks instead of being terminated, according to UPS.

The agreement concluded a 10-hour negotiating session, according to the union

“We are grateful for the enormous outpouring of support from UPS customers, progressive elected officials, and the public,” the union announced on its website. “It was that support that saved the jobs of the 250 drivers.”

Over the last two weeks, rallies held outside the Maspeth facility and at City Hall were attended by elected officials such as Public Advocate Letitia James, City Comptroller Scott Stringer and City Council members Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside), Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows) and Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village), who all called on UPS to rehire the workers.

“Local 804 agrees to compensate UPS for damages associated with the loss of productive employee time, other company costs and the negative impact on goodwill relating to the February 26 unauthorized walkout and related actions,” UPS said in a statement Thursday. “UPS has chosen to settle the matter in order to return to normal operations at the site.”

Thirty-six of the 250 workers were officially removed from payroll over the last two weeks, as UPS was letting employees go in increments in order to train new drivers and limit any interruptions in service.

The dispute began when longtime driver Jairo Reyes was fired on Feb. 26 after a dispute over hours.

“We congratulate [the employees] on standing together through this ordeal and winning their return to work with respect and dignity,” the union said. “We all look forward to turning the page and getting back to serving our customers.”

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