NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Trouble at ‘Big Brown’ this week as dozens of United Parcel Service workers in Maspeth, Queens were let go, allegedly because of their show of support for a fellow worker last month.
As 1010 WINS’ Al Jones reported, it was a 90-minute protest in February over the firing of a long-time employee.
Now, the 250 unionized drivers who participated in the solidarity stunt have received pink slips.
“After 19 years of pretty much exemplary employment over there,” said Neil Penny. “It’s an all-out war on employees.”
Penny was one of the 20 drivers called to their manager’s office on Monday only to be told he was fired.
“They read a statement to me, asked me to give over my ID and my uniforms, walked me out of the building, and that was that,” Penny said. “I absolutely feel betrayed. I mean, it’s crazy. The company’s just really beating us down.”
The remaining 230 drivers were notified they will be fired as soon as replacements are trained, Jones reported.
A UPS spokesman said the drivers knew they could be terminated when they chose to walk out in protest.
Several city officials are now trying to get the delivery giant to reconsider, Jones reported.
Public Advocate Letitia James, along with Teamsters Joint Council 16 President George Miranda, and Teamsters Local 804 President Tim Sylvester are expected to demand on Thursday UPS rehire the drivers and call on the city to reconsider public deals with UPS until the company makes a good-faith effort to negotiate with its terminated employees.
According to a statement released by the group, the company currently benefits from a $43 million public contract in which UPS provides delivery services to city and state agencies. UPS also participates in a program that offers millions of dollars each year in reduced fines and fees for parking tickets.
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