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New York UPS staff rally over claims of unsafe situations in summer season warmth

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United Parcel Service (UPS) staff in New York rallied Thursday morning to demand an finish to what they are saying are unsafe working situations amid sweltering summer season temperatures. 

Gathering on the Foster Avenue facility in Brooklyn, the Teamsters Native 804 union members are calling on the corporate to put in air con in its vehicles. 

Employees have additionally beforehand claimed there’s poor air flow in UPS services. 

In a letter, Vincent Perrone, the president of Teamsters Native 804, wrote that the loss of life of 24-year-old Esteban Chavez – who reportedly died after collapsing in his automobile on a scorching day in Pasadena, California – may have been prevented. 

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“UPS has refused to put in air con in its vehicles for years for one easy motive: to save cash,” he wrote. “UPS makes the aware choice each summer season to permit staff to endure and die from warmth exhaustion reasonably than spend cash on employee security.” 

In keeping with a Wednesday report in The Metropolis, no less than six package deal supply drivers within the New York Metropolis area skilled heat-related sickness on the job throughout final week’s warmth wave.

A UPS logo

A United Parcel Service brand ion April 29, 2020, in New York Metropolis.  (Stephanie Keith/Getty Photos / Getty Photos)

Employees instructed the outlet that supervisors had beforehand reprimanded them for taking a sip of water. 

Greater than 600 folks within the U.S. are killed by excessive warmth annually, in keeping with the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC). 

Underneath the ​​Occupational Well being and Security Act, employers should present workplaces free from acknowledged hazards to security and well being like “warmth or chilly stress.” 

The Atlanta-headquartered UPS instructed Wholesome Residing Staff in an emailed assertion on Thursday that the well being and security of its workers are the corporate’s highest priorities and that drivers are educated to work exterior and handle the results of scorching climate. 

“Preparation, relaxation, hydration, and sustaining good well being practices are key to working open air. UPS invests greater than $270 million yearly to implement applications centered on security, together with working in scorching climate,” the e-mail mentioned. 

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A UPS truck

A United Parcel Service truck is parked in New York on Oct. 23, 2015. (Michael Nagle/Bloomberg by way of Getty Photos / Getty Photos)

The corporate mentioned it by no means desires workers to proceed to work to the purpose that they danger their well being or are unsafe and highlighted its “Cool Options” warmth schooling program and Complete Well being and Security Course of (CHSP) collaboration that meets to handle well being and security. 

“In the summertime, along with offering water and ice for workers, we offer common warmth sickness and harm prevention coaching to all operations managers and drivers,” UPS wrote.

“Our package deal supply autos make frequent stops, which requires the engine to be turned off and the doorways to be opened and closed, about 130 occasions a day on common. We now have studied warmth mitigation with our autos and built-in compelled air techniques with venting to create airflow across the driver and cargo areas. We optimize the roof of autos to attenuate warmth within the cargo space, alongside insulating the roof of the cab. We additionally supply followers to drivers upon request,” it famous.

Perrone instructed The Metropolis that approvals for followers are “very uncommon.”

However, warmth is not the one factor workers are peeved about. 

United Parcel Service delivery truck

UPS mentioned it by no means desires workers to proceed to work to the purpose that they danger their well being or are unsafe. (Chris Hondros/Getty Photos / Getty Photos)

Perrone additionally hit at new expertise – together with driver-facing cameras with audio and video recording capabilities. 

That expertise allegedly captured the water break a supervisor reportedly deemed too lengthy.

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“The corporate claims that it’s about security, however we all know these cameras shall be used to micromanage and self-discipline drivers,” Perrone wrote. “If the cameras have been purely about security, why could not the cameras face outward with out an audio perform? Why would the corporate violate labor regulation by implementing the cameras earlier than negotiating with the union?”

“If they don’t pay attention now, we’ll make them pay attention once we come to the desk for contract negotiations in 2023,” he concluded. “No extra placing revenue over folks!” 

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