A lawsuit filed this week by dozens of UPS truck drivers claims that the company forces them to drive unsafe trucks and take shortcuts on safety to save time — putting both employees and the public at risk.
The lawsuit was filed on April 19 by Robert Amaya Sr. and 33 other UPS truck drivers makes shocking claims about the company’s blatant disregard for standard safety practices and adherence to regulations.
UPS Truck Drivers Make Unsettling Claims About Safety Practices
Here are some of the most surprising claims made in the lawsuit:
- The suit says that UPS does not follow regulations for transporting hazardous materials. According to the suit: “UPS does not secure any of the hazardous materials it transports. As a result of the failure to secure the cargo, drivers … are exposed to dangerous health risks from exposure. Oftentimes, the drums and containers that house the hazardous materials are leaky and would spill around the area where they were stored.” The lawsuit also claims that UPS destroyed paperwork in order to hide its actions so that the drivers were often unaware of what was going on.
- The drivers claim that UPS delivered food “tainted with poison” to store like Costco.
- The lawsuit says that UPS drivers have been encouraged to nearly eliminate the pre-trip inspection. It claims that drivers are often only allowed 5 to 15 minutes for their pre-trip inspections.
- The UPS drivers say that the company will not allow them onto scales to check their weight, but does discipline them if they are cited for an overweight violation.
- According to the suit, drivers are told to ignore traffic signs to save time.
- The suit alleges that UPS makes employees drive trucks without such basic safety features as headlights, brake lights, and signal lights.
- The truck drivers say that some of the trucks they are forced to drive emit so much smoke that they become ill while driving.
Drivers Say Management Uses Intimidation Tactics To Keep Them In Check
The other aspect of the lawsuit against UPS details a culture of fear meant to keep drivers in check through use of intimidation. The drivers place much of the blame for the intimidation tactics on Mordea Pearson, a UPS West Coast regional manager. Here are some of the highlights of their allegations against UPS management:
- Drivers claim that management would follow them in unmarked cars to make them fear that they would be robbed.
- The drivers also claim that Pearson insisted that management discipline them in writing three to five times a day.
- The lawsuit claims that supervisors follow the drivers into the restroom and watch over their shoulders as they urinate.
- According to the suit, UPS hired armed guards in April 2015 who were tasked with patrolling employees — an extreme intimidation tactic, the drivers say.
UPS has disputed the allegations and promises to defend itself “vigorously.”
Courthouse News Service