Older driver fired for "not using 3 points of contact", but really for performance.

Discussion in 'UPS Union Issues' started by 20_years_in, Jul 16, 2011.

  1. 20_years_in

    20_years_in New Member

    So yesterday (they always do this on a Friday), one of our high seniority drivers was given a working discharge for "not using 3 points of contact" and "improper methods of loading a handtruck". This driver has about 23 years seniority and he is about 53 years old. He does have sort of a slow pace and he generally runs about 2 hours over allowed. Our District Manager sent a letter to his CMs and Onroads that stated that drivers who ran 2 hours over or more would be targeted and "thinned out". Our center manager accidentally left this letter out in the open and some drivers read it and I believe that some photocopies were made.
    I am sure that this driver will get his job back, but I am concerned that management may be committing age discrimination under the guise of production standards and failure to follow methods. Management will go out and videotape the drivers who run over allowed and start progressive discipline for things such as not using 3 points of contact, grabbing straps, lifting incorrectly or not using hazard lights (flashers). The runners and gunners, so to speak, are given an "Atta boy" and left alone even though everybody knows that they run, jump out of the truck, drive with the bulkhead door open and work through their breaks. I know that the world isn't fair, but age discrimination is illegal.
    So us drivers should just do every single thing the correct way every single time, even if it means not being able to finish within 12 hours (HUGE dispatches in our center)? This seems like it would cause someone to run over allowed even more and cause the driver to be even more of a target. Nobody can be perfect all of the time.
    I understand that management and other stockholders want value for their investment dollar, but isn't UPS stock up 65% or so in the last 12 months? Is running the workers into the ground a sound long term financial plan?
    When I first started driving about 15 years ago, a successful day was not having and accident or an injury or any service failures. Now we have to meet their optimistic SPORH metric AND never, ever fail to use three points of contact or load a handtruck improperly?
     
  2. cachsux

    cachsux Wah

    Re: Older driver fired for "not using 3 points of contact", but really for performanc

    I certainly hope photocopies were made.
     
  3. 20_years_in

    20_years_in New Member

    Re: Older driver fired for "not using 3 points of contact", but really for performanc

    Photocopies were definitely made. It was a printed email that the DM sent to his management team. It used the term "targeted" and "thin out the herd". Sounds like a cull, right? Every time somebody runs 2.00 or more overallowed (which is 1 to 3 older drivers every day), it is highlighted on the Work Report for all to see and each incidence is investigated and archived. All of this using THEIR time study. But when somebody bonuses 2.00 hours, it's just a big old slap on the back--what about their work methods?!
    Disgusting.
     
  4. formymax

    formymax New Member

    Re: Older driver fired for "not using 3 points of contact", but really for performanc

    Hopefully that driver has already filed a grievance. If not, he needs to do so immediately. He also needs to get a copy of the letter from upper management. I wouldn't rely on just the union to handle this matter. He has 180 days to file with EEOC but they will probably tell him he needs to exhaust the grievance process before their agency can take action.
     
  5. JonFrum

    JonFrum Member

    Re: Older driver fired for "not using 3 points of contact", but really for performanc

    Here's what the Contract says . . .

    ARTICLE 36. NONDISCRIMINATION

    "The Employer and the Union agree not to discriminate against any individual with respect to hiring, compensation, terms or conditions of employment because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, physical disability veteran status or age in violation of any federal or state law, or engage in any other discriminatory acts prohibited by law, nor will they limit, segregate or classify employees in any way to deprive any individual employees of employment opportunities because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, physical disability, veteran status or age in violation of any federal or state law, or engage in any other discriminatory acts prohibited by law. This Article also covers employees with a qualified disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act."
    - - - -

    ARTICLE 37. MANAGEMENT EMPLOYEE RELATIONS
    Section 1.

    "The Employer will treat employees with dignity and respect at all times, which shall include, but not be limited to, giving due consideration to the age and physical condition of the employee."
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2011
  6. 20_years_in

    20_years_in New Member

    Re: Older driver fired for "not using 3 points of contact", but really for performanc

    I will relay all of the above advice to our business agent. I wonder if UPS ever gets any of these "charges" (i.e. failure to use 3 points of contact and improper loading techniques) to stick.
     
  7. Re-Raise

    Re-Raise Well-Known Member

    Re: Older driver fired for "not using 3 points of contact", but really for performanc

    I would hope not. There is no question that there is a target on the backs of any driver running over. They will get you for checking your mirrors every 9 seconds instead of every 5 to 8 next.
     
  8. bumped

    bumped Well-Known Member

    Re: Older driver fired for "not using 3 points of contact", but really for performanc

    There is no way we as drivers can have a 2 tiered wage system PERIOD
     
  9. tourists24

    tourists24 Well-Known Member

    Re: Older driver fired for "not using 3 points of contact", but really for performanc

    No way a 23 year seniority driver is going to stayed fired for long for not grabbing the handrail unless he has a past history of getting into trouble over more serious stuff
     
  10. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    Re: Older driver fired for "not using 3 points of contact", but really for performanc

    You may be surprised what "we as drivers can have" when UPS dangles a signing bonus in front of us.
     
  11. 804brown

    804brown Well-Known Member

    Re: Older driver fired for "not using 3 points of contact", but really for performanc

    Just say no to signing "bonuses"!! Get rid of the Hoffa-accepted split raises. Even better get rid of Hoffa!!
     
  12. 20_years_in

    20_years_in New Member

    Re: Older driver fired for "not using 3 points of contact", but really for performanc

    He has negligible prior disciplinary action. This matter of not using 3 points of contact and improperly loading a handtruck is, indeed, his huge transgression that has him fighting to keep his job. Like I said, though, he does have a slower pace. I believe he is pacing his body to make it to retirement.
    He knew that they were after him for running 2.00 hours over, and he knew that they were out there filming him and looking for any charge with which to discharge him. I believe that he is being fired for these small technicalities and not anything prior to last week. It is all about his slower pace, I am sure.
    But our runner-gunners are out there using all kinds of shortcuts that do not fall under the methods, but management does not enforce the safety rules with them. So unfair--isn't there something that can be done with regard to the double standards?
     
  13. tourists24

    tourists24 Well-Known Member

    Re: Older driver fired for "not using 3 points of contact", but really for performanc

    If there is no history of problems with driver, then the company is just using this to try and threaten the driver to go faster or skip his lunch. This case will not be heard at a panel and he will not be fired
     
  14. 20_years_in

    20_years_in New Member

    Re: Older driver fired for "not using 3 points of contact", but really for performanc

    I think that tourists24 is spot on, and that the company is using a discharge letter to scare him into working faster, but I don't think he will ever skip his lunch. I know that I don't work when I am on break, just like I don't goof off when I am on the clock.
    Also, the news of his firing will send a message to all the other drivers: "Go faster or get fired. Meet our numbers or risk unemployment."
     
  15. JonFrum

    JonFrum Member

    Re: Older driver fired for "not using 3 points of contact", but really for performanc

    You're right. Package Car Drivers will never reduce the current six-tier wage system to two!!!!!

    Currently you have: Full-time Air Drivers, Part-time Air Drivers, Part-time Casuals, Temps/Seasonals/VacationCover outside hires, Drivers' Helpers, and New Hires.

    The New Hires take three years to gain Top Rate, but it may take years longer than that as some New Hires will be gone before their third year is compleated, and replaced by another New Hire who, in turn, may be gone before he reaches Top Rate. And so on.

    - - - - - -
    It's worth noting that failure to use three points of contact is not a crime. There is nothing actually wrong here. It's a "crime" in UPS World only because UPS says it is.

    Since no significant injury normally results from years (or even decades) of failure to use three points of contact, this offense is the ultimate "victimless crime." Not something you should be fired for.
     
  16. MC4YOU2

    MC4YOU2 Yep, not wearing brown anymore

    Re: Older driver fired for "not using 3 points of contact", but really for performanc

    This is a fair question. This does seem to be the path that UPS is pursuing. I wonder if anyone has yet to challenge the lopsided enforcement of methods infractions. It's certainly no secret that if you run through breaks and lunch and bonus for the day, you're methods are deemed above par. If you struggle with production for any reason, you're methods are obviously sub par, even though the "bone-us" drivers can't duplicate their own numbers without cheating. I wonder who had ever challenged this practice and prevailed?
     
  17. Sleeve_meet_Heart

    Sleeve_meet_Heart making the unreadable unreadabler

    Re: Older driver fired for "not using 3 points of contact", but really for performanc

    This is the NORM at UPS. You have 20 years in? Why are you so shocked and disgusted?

    One stop at a time. Smile and wave when the DM is following you in a personal vehicle or rental. Wink at him, make him blush.
     
  18. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    Re: Older driver fired for "not using 3 points of contact", but really for performanc

    I disagree. I have 22 years in and use 3 points of contact yet still have mild joint soreness.

    3 points of contact is not exclusive to UPS. I was watching Ice Road Truckers and the trainer for Carlile Trucking mentioned 3 points of contact several times while training a "new" driver.

    Failure to use 3 points of contact should not be a fireable offense.
     
  19. 804brown

    804brown Well-Known Member

    Re: Older driver fired for "not using 3 points of contact", but really for performanc

    Im with you that it shouldnt be a fireable offense. But do they have the right to any discipline if their methods or safety methods are not followed??
     
  20. menotyou

    menotyou bella amicizia

    Re: Older driver fired for "not using 3 points of contact", but really for performanc

    Discipline? Yes. Termination? No. Discipline ONLY when it was intentional. Which does occur, just not in the manner you might think.