UPS Changes its Mind, Won't Fire 250 Employees

| by Jonathan Wolfe

Earlier this week, we told you that 250 New York City UPS employees were being fired for protesting the questionable firing of fellow driver Jairo Reyes.

When Reyes was fired, the 250 union-represented drivers at the Queens UPS branch protested his termination with a 90-minute work stoppage. UPS management wasn't a fan of the protest. Citing an explicit no protest clause in the driver’s union contracts, UPS said they were firing all 250 employees who participated in the stoppage.

The union representing the drivers, Teamsters Local 804, protested the firings, saying the drivers were essentially being fired for “standing up to a bully.” For weeks, the union tried to reach a compromise with UPS that would allow the employees to retain their employment. Until Wednesday, UPS remained adamant they were not interested in a compromise. Then, a breakthrough happened.

UPS officials announced they struck a deal with union negotiators and will no longer terminate the 250 protesting employees.

"The 250 UPS employees involved in the walkout who were terminated for their actions will have their terminations reduced to a two week suspension without pay for each participant," UPS spokesman Steve Gaut told Business Insider. "UPS has chosen to settle the matter in order to return to normal operations at the site.”

As part of the settlement, Reyes will no longer be fired either. His termination has been reduced to a suspension. The settlement also means the Teamsters Local 804 union is on the hook for all expenses related to the 90-minute work stoppage.

Teamsters Local 804 president Tim Sylvester says he is happy to see the issue resolved.

"We're looking forward to turning the corner and getting on a new road with UPS," Sylvester said in a statement. "The drivers delivered their message to UPS about unfair treatment. Now every one [of] them will be back delivering packages."