Rhode Island Teamsters got UPS to fork over the company credit card and purchased $21,000 in cleaning supplies, gloves, and hand sanitizer all on company time. Here's how they made it happen.
UPS Teamsters everywhere are fed up with the lack of cleaning supplies and Personal Protective Equipment, from gloves to hand sanitizer. But let's face it. Management is a lot more focused on moving packages than they are on our safety.
In Rhode Island, Local 251 Business Agents, shop stewards and Safety Committee members made sure the Health Department, OSHA, and public officials knew about members' concerns about the health hazards at UPS.
Having applied that bit of pressure, they met with the Division Manager and presented a list of supplies they needed to protect members on the job. The Division Manager told them, "If you can find it, we’ll buy it."
Safety Committee members Paul Slade and Chris Fulford got to work. They drove around to every supplier they could think of to load up on supplies members needed. They bought gloves at AutoZone, 10,000 handwipes at Restaurant Depot, 140 spray bottles from nine different stores, and more.
In their biggest score, they purchased $10,000 in hand sanitizer from a Teamster Local 25 distillery. In all, they purchased $21,000 in needed supplies. This was all done on company time and paid for right on the company credit card.
Safety Committee Members distributed the gloves, sanitizer, and wipes.
“We’re pulling out all the stops to protect our safety,” said Steward and Safety Committee Co-Chair Paul Slade. “UPS Teamsters are essential. We’re the ones who are delivering the supplies and equipment that are going to get everyone through this.”
Does Management Need a Push in Your Building?
Is your building unsafe and unsanitary? Contact TDU and UPS Teamsters United. We’re a grassroots network of Teamsters helping Teamsters.
We can’t solve COVID-19. But we can give you advice on your rights and help you take action to hold management accountable using tools like grievances, OSHA, and union solidarity.