Witness Statements on incidences

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by Stone, Jun 12, 2015.

  1. Stone

    Stone New Member

    Hi all. I was recently a witness to an incident involving an hourly employee and a security guard. I am not going into much detail concerning this but the incident seemed as if it was going to come to blows. I interjected myself into the situation to try and defuse it by stepping in between the 2 individuals and calmly talking to them. A supervisor also interjected himself to help try to defuse the situation. After about 5 minutes we had the situation under control and everything seemed to be resolved and everyone went to their respective jobs. This was before the sort started. Now, I have security coming to me and pressuring me to file a witness statement on the incident. If I file this statement then both parties will definitely loose their jobs and I feel uncomfortable about it. I have voiced my opinion on the issue but security has said that I have no choice in the matter and I must file a statement. This has also gone further with my supervisor informing security that I will not file a statement and then he was told, and I overheard this, that if I didn't file a statement then it would be insubordination which makes me feel like my job has been threatened. I have filed a statement but not what they want because I stated that I refused to do one until I speak with my Union Business Agent and stated that I felt pressured and that my job was threatened. The question here is, am I obligated to file a statement on the incident even though I feel this would not benefit anyone in the matter and also go against my "freedom of speech" right to speak or not to speak as I choose?
  2. Just Lurking

    Just Lurking Member

    "freedom of speech" is speech allowed to disallowed by the federal government. Just saying.

    ALso, if you see someone about to come to blows. I would step back from the situation. If you are accidentally hit or accidentally touch someone - you are part of the incident. UPS will say workplace violence and you will be defending yourself at a hearing too. Now "freedom of speech" won't mean much if you would like you job. The company can set back and watch employee against employee. Usually no one wins.
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  3. BrownTexas

    BrownTexas Well-Known Member

    You don't have to file a statement. I would also start saying, "I don't remember what happened" start being as vague as possible when being asked.
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  4. Stone

    Stone New Member

    Thank you for your response. However, this only helps me in the future if I am ever in the presence of another incident. I already knew this but I was trying to get into work but the door was blocked so I tried to not only help out with the situation but also help out myself to get into work on time. Thanks again.
  5. Stone

    Stone New Member

    Thank you for your response. This helps out much. I am just now forgetting all that happened while I am awaiting a call from the Union Business Agent. LOL!!!
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  6. tacken

    tacken Active Member

    I cant recall what happened. End of story..
  7. Mugarolla

    Mugarolla Light 'em up!

    It is usually not workplace violence unless there were threats, intimidation or physical contact.

    If UPS insists on you giving a statement, sometimes refusing makes it look bad for the people involved. UPS will think that your statement will get them in trouble, hence, the reason for you not giving a statement.

    I would just tell them that the two people were having a discussion, and they were not seeing eye to eye. I would tell them that you did not hear any threats made, and there was no physical contact between the two.

    They worked it out and went on their separate ways.
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  8. Stone

    Stone New Member

    Thank you for your response.
  9. Stone

    Stone New Member

    Thank you for your response. This was helpful.
  10. PiedmontSteward

    PiedmontSteward RTW-4-Less

    You cannot be forced to provide a statement but you absolutely cannot refuse to answer any questions during an investigation or you can be fired for attempting to interfere with said investigation.

    First Amendment (free speech) and Fifth Amendment (the right not to incriminate yourself via testimony) are greatly curtailed in the American workplace.

    That being said, no one can hold you accountable for not being able to remember something -- and they sure as hell can't discipline you for "not providing the statement they want." If they're threatening discipline, they need to have a steward present.
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  11. Stone

    Stone New Member

    UPDATE: Talked to the Local Union Business Agent. He stated that I do not have to file a statement and that them trying to force me to do one was against my rights by law and by contract. However, he did state that if they do an investigation and call me in for an interview, that I must cooperate, kind of as if I was being subpoenaed to court. How I cooperate depends on me, but cooperate I must. Basically he said answer yes or no questions and do not add any details on the issue or state "I do not recall what actually happened". As far as the insubordination issue for not filing a statement, he said they had an issue concerning this about a month ago and the Security Department tried to strong arm a guy the same way into filing a statement by threatening his job, even though he committed the infraction and was going to be fired anyways. The Union Rep talked to the UPS Labor Relations Officer and they agreed that should have not happened and was unfair to the employee and that the issue would be handled and corrected so that it would not happen again. But, alas, they did it to me and only being a witness. So, the answer to the question is: You have the right to not file a statement whether a witness or a perpetrator and they have no right to try and strong arm you into doing so. So I would advise you all that if you are in a situation to where they are trying to get you to file a statement you should write on it "I refuse to file a statement at this time until I talk to my Local Union Business Agent about the issue". This not only keeps them on their toes but makes them realize that they can not make, strong arm you, or threaten you in anyway into doing their bidding and not only trying to protect yourself whether you are right or wrong. However, if you are called into an investigation interview, you must cooperate but you should only answer YES or NO questions and then don't recall detail or don't remember something. Hope this helps you all out if you have an issue like this.
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    Last edited: Jun 12, 2015
  12. Stone

    Stone New Member

    Thank you for your response. Great information and exactly what my Union Business Agent said to me. See my UPDATED response.
  13. MendozaJ

    MendozaJ Active Member

    Say you don't know what preceded the argument and that everything was smooth when you left. Totally neutral.
  14. Stone

    Stone New Member

    Thank you for your response. Nicely put and I will remember this.
  15. STFXG

    STFXG Well-Known Member

    Sounds like those employees owe you a steak dinner.
  16. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    "If you see something, say something"

    You need to submit a written statement of your account of the incident.
  17. BrownTexas

    BrownTexas Well-Known Member

    That goes something like "On the day in question I was at the guard shack when I pretty butterfly passed by. It drew all my attention to it with its grace and beauty."
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  18. Dr.Brown

    Dr.Brown Swollen Member

    so that puts a big X on his back for 2 former employees.
  19. newfie

    newfie Well-Known Member

    I have to admit in reading your story I was distracted by the thought of you and the sup "interjecting" yourselves...:)
  20. Richard Harrow

    Richard Harrow Would you pay a dime to see this?

    Best advice is to just mind your own business next time.

    I know you acted with good intentions but the only thing you really interjected yourself into was a :censored2: storm.