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UPS Inc. said it is taking steps to protect its employees from contracting the COVID-19 virus and that it reached an agreement with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters concerning paid-leave guidelines for unionized workers who are affected by it.
The company in a statement posted to its website said the steps it is taking include enhanced cleaning in all of its facilities, especially shared equipment, and encouraging employees to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for hygiene and social distancing. It also is frequently refilling automatic hand sanitizing stations, providing sanitizing supplies to drivers, cleaning vehicle exteriors and interiors on frequent schedules, and providing an emergency paid leave program to any employee affected by the virus.
UPS said the paid-leave agreement applies to about 300,000 full- and part-time hourly employees, primarily drivers, package handlers and mechanics, if they should become directly impacted by the novel coronavirus.
The union said the agreement would provide paid leave for any worker who is diagnosed with COVID-19 and is required to be quarantined, or who is isolated due to a family member’s illness.
While on leave, the pay will be:
- Eight hours per workday for full-time employees for a maximum of 10 workdays;
- For part-time UPS workers only: 3½ hours per workday for a maximum of 10 workdays. Part-time UPS employees are guaranteed a minimum of 3½ hours per day when they are called into work.
- For part-time UPS Freight workers: four hours per workday for a maximum of 10 workdays.
- For UPS Cartage Service part-time employees, local addenda guarantees will be applied.
- Contributions to health and pension plans will be made as required by union agreements.
- If an employee self-quarantines, uses paid time off, and is later diagnosed with COVID-19, the company will repopulate the employee’s accrued paid time-off of 80 hours for full-time employees and 35 for part-timers.
The agreement also stipulates that any employee directly impacted by the virus and missing work under these standards will not have those days counted as an attendance infraction.
As fears over the coronavirus have intensified, UPS has made changes to its drivers’ routines, such as not requiring signatures for many package delivery services.
We’ve established extra measures to keep our communities & employees safe. Thank you to our drivers & operations employees who keep the world running. Our procurement teams are working to obtain hand sanitizer, gloves, masks & cleaning supplies – we'll be replenishing next week. pic.twitter.com/s9OKhx5cEa— UPS (@UPS) March 21, 2020
UPS and the federal government also have reached an agreement to provide transportation and logistical support for the coronavirus drive-through testing sites. The union says its members’ role will be limited to the delivery and pick up of test kits and supplies.
UPS ranks No. 1 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers in North America and No. 2 on the TT Top 50 list of the largest logistics companies.
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