Staff at UPS Parcels in central London will strike for two days next week, which will disrupt the firm’s deliveries in the run-up to Christmas, over alleged bullying, harassment and racism.
The 140 workers, members of Unite, the country’s largest union, at UPS’ Camden depot will strike for 24 hours on Wednesday 7 December and Friday 9 December; both actions starting at 00.01. The workers voted by 85 per cent in favour of strike action.
The union said that there was a feeling of déjà vu about this dispute similar to the one that dogged the depot - the biggest UPS depot in Europe - in late 2013.
Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “This dispute centres on harassment, bullying and racism.
“The drivers are forced to work overtime so that they can finish their deliveries. If they refuse or fail to finish deliveries, they are disciplined.
“This leads to drivers working well beyond their typical 17.00 finish time and the drivers feel forced to rush and perhaps drive faster than they should.
“There is a harsh disciplinary process when drivers have accidents, but, ironically, accidents are more likely to happen because of the continual pressure placed on them.
“The management plays fast-and-loose with the English language as it claims that accidents are seen as avoidable i.e. deliberate - when the meaning of the word ‘accident’ is ‘an undesirable, incidental and unplanned event’. No one has an accident on purpose.
“Those who load the vans in the warehouse complain of racism and bullying, unfair treatment and a failure to see workers as human beings.
“There is a palpable sense of déjà vu about this dispute, as three years ago we had a dispute with UPS at this depot on almost the same issues.
“The local UPS management don’t seem to have learned the lessons of history and we are again faced with a dispute that could severely disrupt UPS deliveries to its customers in the run-up to Christmas.”
For further information please contact Unite regional officer Onay Kasab on 07771 818 637 and/or Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940.
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.