Workers’ Correspondents: UPS Workers Face Work Speedups, Hazardous Conditions

By Dontay Stevenson

Workers at the UPS facility in Charlotte have been subjected to dangerous working conditions related to increasing workloads and work speedups ordered by supervisors and corporate management.

In just the past week, four workers have been injured. One worker had a large stack of packages fall on him while using a load stand, causing him to fall off of the stand. Afterwards, he had to be physically walked off by supervisors.

Last month, the facility had to be evacuated because a hazardous materials package was loaded onto a belt meant for standard packages by mistake. It caught on fire and was sent speeding down the conveyor belt, and while no workers were in the truck at the time, this incident could have been fatal. The fire department arrived shortly after to clear the truck, but immediately after, everyone except for the workers in that section of the building had to go back to work, despite the fumes still lingering in the building.

The lack of safety precautions has been exacerbated by orders to speed up the pace of work by management. As one worker put it, “They’ve been increasing the workload knowing that we don’t have the capacity to handle it, and making workers speed up with corporate [representatives] walking around.”

Management have tried to place the blame for work-related injuries on the workers themselves, repeating platitudes about workers needing to take safety seriously while simultaneously forcing workers to process packages at breakneck speeds.

At the same facility, a supervisor admitted to having a sexual relationship with a female worker who was a minor. While this is supposed to be a fireable offense, UPS simply moved him to a different section of the building, showing that management not only ignores the risk of physical injury, but also sexual harassment and pedophilia directed at women workers.

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