Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/789/17771
UPS workers resist bad working conditions
Unite members working at the UPS Parcels depot in Camden, north London, will be on strike on 22 November. Workers have had enough of being forced to work overtime, impossible workloads and bullying.
The Camden depot is the biggest UPS depot in Europe and 91% of the 120 drivers and loaders in Unite voted for strike action.
In its drive to maximise profits, the company uses threats of disciplinary action to force workers to continue working beyond contractual hours until all deliveries are made.
Workers who go back to the depot with missed deliveries face disciplinary action in what is a "three counts and you're out" policy. Now a Unite shop steward has been suspended.
The same policy applies to drivers involved in 'avoidable' accidents on the road. The company admits that the definition of 'avoidable' can involve a parked van with no driver in it!
Union members have been threatened with disciplinary action if they vote to strike. Sometimes the company puts on a breakfast or offers 'lunch with the boss', yet during meetings and in response to Unite examples of workers with caring responsibilities and the difficulties of long hours and forced overtime, a manager stated: "You cannot be a carer and work for UPS".
The campaign is spreading, depots in Barking, Feltham and Dartford will also now be considering strike action. And transport union RMT is also balloting its members.
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In The Socialist 20 November 2013:
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