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UPS workers in Sparks protest pay cuts for part-time employees

Workers picket outside Sparks UPS protesting pay cuts for part-time employees (Kausik Bhakta/KRNV)
Workers picket outside Sparks UPS protesting pay cuts for part-time employees (Kausik Bhakta/KRNV)
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United Parcel Service (UPS) workers across northern Nevada and California are protesting outside seven different facilities Thursday to speak out against pay cuts for part-time employees.

The union said despite making record-breaking profits last year and recently increasing prices for customers, the company cut the pay for nearly 4,000 part-time employees across the area this week.

A spokesman for the Teamsters 533 Union said the pay cuts amount up to $6 per hour for some workers living in some of the most expensive housing markets in the country.

"That's a huge cut in pay for them," said Debbie Calkins with Teamsters Local 533. "These are the lowest paid people in UPS and UPS is making billions, with a 'b', per quarter in profit, every quarter. This is such a disservice."

She said of the 600 or so part-time local employees, 350 to 450 of them are dropping down to $15 an hour from $19.

At the same time UPS, as mentioned in the statement below, is adding a bonus for good attendance. Calkins said it's $100 weekly but if someone works for more than 20 hours a week, it ends up as a pay cut rather than more pay as UPS claims.

She also said COVID has already spread through the building and this will make it worse.

"That encourages part-timers to come in sick because they have to work every scheduled day to get their bonus ," said Calkins. "So in a time of COVID, with the highest levels, they're encouraging people to come in sick.

The current collective bargaining agreement between the two is in effect until July 31, 2023, according to a spokesman for UPS.

“UPS has grown during the last two years with the explosion in online shopping,” said UPS NorCal Committee Chairman Peter Nuñez, “During the COVID-19 pandemic, our members worked non-stop to earn the company billions in profits, yet UPS failed to give them hazard pay. Now UPS is choosing to cut part-timers’ pay back. This is unconscionable.”

UPS released the following statement to News 4-Fox 11 in regards to the picket:

We have a long history of collaboration with the Teamsters to meet our employees’ needs. Part-time union employee compensation is contractually agreed upon with the Teamsters and includes annual pay increases plus benefits. We recently added incentives to this existing agreement to include a reward for dependable attendance that can result in even higher pay per hour than the previous hourly Market Rate Adjustment. Additionally, UPS offers our part-time employees a pension, healthcare coverage, paid sick time, paid vacation and holidays, and a strong history of promoting from within the company to higher paying jobs.
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A handful of workers picketed outside the Sparks location off Vista Boulevard Thursday morning. Others pickets were scheduled in San Francisco, Oakland and Santa Rosa.

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