UPS drivers in Maine protest over long hours, extra days during pandemic
United Parcel Service (UPS) drivers began picketing at a distribution hub in Maine this week in an effort to bring attention to the extended hours and extra days that they have worked during the coronavirus pandemic.
According to The Associated Press, nearly 80 to 100 drivers gathered in Auburn on Wednesday to voice their frustrations to management before work.
“They are working Christmas hours and they’ve been doing this for 14 months straight. They’re wearing down,” Brett Miller, president of Local 340, told the AP.
The drivers, who are represented by the Teamsters union, reportedly displayed signs reading “Hire more workers,” “Unsafe at UPS,” “Five days is enough, we have families too” and “People before profits.”
Miller told the newswire that UPS decided to pay penalties in order to keep its employees on the job working extended hours instead of hiring more drivers to even out the workload.
“[The drivers’ complaints are] falling on deaf ears,” Miller said.
UPS told The Hill that it is looking to hire more employees and understands the drivers’ concerns.
“We offer our employees multiple ways to share their concerns with us, and we have regular dialogue with Local 340. We are hiring in Auburn and encourage interested applicants to apply online at jobs-ups.com,” UPS said in the statement. “We value our employees, appreciate their contributions to the communities where we live and work, and respect their right to assemble.”
–Updated at 11:31 a.m.