Local 804 safety committee members met for a training to share strategies on standing up for members’ safety at work.
UPS management talks a good game about safety. But actions speak louder than words.
Understaffing. Egress issues. Excessive temperatures. Harassment and stress. Old and inadequate equipment. Improper handling of over 70s.
These safety problems and more are not just ignored by management; they are caused by management.
The company’s safety agenda is very different than ours.
Management’s agenda is the company’s bottom line. Management wants to reduce accidents and comp claims—or to intimidate employees out of reporting accidents and comp claims because they drive up the company’s insurance premiums.
The union’s agenda is totally different. Our agenda is to protect the health and safety of our members. We want workplace hazards to be fixed so we can get home safely to our families at the end of the day—and get through our careers without destroying our bodies.
Blame the Worker
UPS takes a blame-the-worker approach to safety. When an accident happens, management says if you follow the methods, you wouldn’t have gotten hurt.
But most injuries don’t happen because workers are careless or injury-prone. They happen because of hazards or safety problems created by management. Excessive workloads and production harassment are at the top of the list.
The Bottom Line
UPS wants to shift the blame to workers to avoid paying to fix the underlying problems and to discourage accident reports and compensation claims.
Our agenda as Teamsters is to protect our the health and safety of our members.