UPS Teamsters in New York City are taking action to protect themselves and the public in the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic.
New York Local 804 has become one of the most aggressive and effective Teamster locals in the country since members elected a reform slate last year. The COVID-19 crisis has put the union to the test and Local 804 Teamsters have come together to face an unprecedented health crisis together.
In a pandemic where conditions are constantly changing, Local 804 leaders, stewards, and members have maintained constant communication. Union reps are in the buildings on the daily.
Nearly 1,700 members belong to a Local 804 Facebook group where leaders and stewards share the latest news and updates.
The local held a conference call for nearly 200 stewards to share information, equip the union's front-line leaders, and keep everyone on the same page.
Applying Public Pressure
When management is willing to work on solutions, Local 804 Teamsters have worked with the company to be problem solvers. But when the company has refused to listen to members' concerns, the local has not been shy about reaching out to the media or political leaders to get their voices heard and prod management to take action.
Overcrowding & Staggered Start Times
Local 804 got the company to stagger start times to reduce crowds. The local was one of the first to make management stop using two unloaders in the same trailer.
Cleaning Crews and Protecting Teamster Work
To increase sanitary conditions, the union not only got the company to bring in outside cleaning crews but made sure UPS offered extra work to Teamster porters and car washers, including Saturday overtime if they want it.
When the pandemic first hit, Local 804 sprang into action and bought pallets of gloves and distributed them Teamster to Teamster. Since then, the union has gotten the company to purchase thousands of additional pairs.
A package car driver found a local distillery that has switched to producing sanitizer. The union got management to purchase it by the quart and distribute it in small bottles to members. The union is pressing management to install sanitizer dispensers throughout the buildings.
While making a delivery at a pharmaceutical supply company, Feeder Driver Rob Santana found a supply of masks. Santana alerted TDU member and Local 804 Business Agent Dave Cintron and the union contacted UPS. The company bought 20,000 masks on the spot for distribution to UPS Teamsters across metro New York. Their fast action was featured in the NY Daily News.