Mail Boxes Etc. and UPS Store Franchisees to Picket UPS Annual Shareholder Meeting on Thursday, May 4, 2006 in Wilmington, Delaware LOS ANGELES, May 2 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 100 Mail Boxes Etc. and The UPS Store franchisees from across the United States will picket the United Parcel Service (NYSE: UPS) shareholder meeting in Wilmington, Delaware Thursday morning over issues related to multiple lawsuits filed against the world's largest consumer shipping and packaging network. More than 450 franchisees who own Mail Boxes Etc. stores and The UPS Stores have filed three lawsuits in California. In separate complaints, the franchisees accused UPS of intentional misrepresentation, concealment and breach of contract, intentionally failing to disclose performance and financial data in addition to multiple violations of franchisee laws among other allegations. The store owners, who say that UPS is undercutting their profits, claim the Atlanta-based shipper has made as stated in their complaint "unabashed and illegal efforts to profit on the backs of their own franchisees." Store owners are seeking compensatory and punitive damages as well as attorneys' fees and costs. Mail Boxes Etc., the UPS subsidiary, is headquartered in San Diego, California. PSA represents more than 130 franchisees. The group has a trial date set for November 14, 2006 in Los Angeles Superior Court. PSA is represented by attorney Miles Scully of Gordon & Rees LLP of San Diego. In 2006, The UPS Store Franchisees formed The Brown Shield Association to represent their grievances against UPS. Larry Bowdoin represents in excess of 200 franchisees who filed their complaint last month in Los Angeles Superior Court. The BSA is represented by high-profile lawyer Robert Shapiro of Christensen, Miller of Los Angeles. The Independent Association of Mail Box Center Owners, Inc. (IAMCO) is an independent trade organization of franchisees who also filed a lawsuit against UPS. This 35-member franchisee group is represented by attorney Michael Hankes of Boston. The IAMCO trial is scheduled for April 2007. BACKGROUND ON THE MULTIPLE ISSUE LAWSUITS In March 2001, UPS purchased the assets of Mail Boxes Corporation for approximately $192 million. At the time MBE was comprised of 3,400 independent franchise locations in the United States and 1000 others internationally. In early 2003, UPS launched the Gold Shield campaign to convert 3,400 U.S. MBE stores into The UPS Stores. UPS, and its wholly-owned MBE, chose not to issue a new Franchise Offering Circular (FOC) for Gold Shield. The FOC is a mandated disclosure document, which the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires be provided to all potential franchisees to review in order to evaluate the franchise prior to purchase. Instead UPS chose a five-page amendment to the 2003 MBE FOC. MBE franchisees involved in the lawsuit claim, in addition to other issues, that this failure to issue a new FOC did not comply with FTC regulations or the California Franchise Investment Law. Approximately 12% of the MBE franchisees rejected the 2003 conversion proposed by UPS. About 150 MBE franchisees formed the Platinum Shield Association in 2003 to pursue litigation in opposition to the UPS takeover. PSA filed their complaint in Los Angeles Superior Court and have a trial date set for November 14, 2006. Representatives of all franchisee associations will be present outside the UPS shareholder meeting and are available for media interviews.