28 March 2020
Chelmsford, MA UPS Workers:
Chelmsford, Massachusetts UPS facility where Teamster
union officials and workers are protesting unsafe working
Wicked Local - Chelmsford)
As workers in many locations and industries across the
U.S. carry out job actions, walkouts and protests against
employers’ brutal indifference to elementary health and
safety during the coronavirus crisis, we reproduce below a
flier by Mike Gath, an activist in Teamsters Local 25 who
has worked at the UPS facility in Chelmsford,
Massachusetts for over a decade. While management plays
company videos boasting about making lots of money during
the crisis, the bosses at the round-the clock facility did
not inform the 1,500 workers about COVID-19 cases there.
Nor did they provide any forms of protection for the
workers, or follow the safety guidelines of the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). On March 25,
Local 25 President Sean O’Brien issued a letter to the
company (referred to in Brother Gath’s flier below); he
followed up with another letter on March 30 noting that
“the Company continues in its failure to keep its
employees safe.” These issues intersect key points in the
statement by Class Struggle Workers – Portland, “CSWP
For Workers Action in Coronavirus Crisis.”
Update: In the face of the inaction by UPS, on
April 3, Mike Gath issued a second leaflet:
the company waiting til someone dies before it
thoroughly cleans & disinfects the Chelmsford UPS
there are SIX confirmed cases here.
Like we said a week ago: NO SAFETY, NO WORK!
Last night we were told that two more of our co-workers
have been confirmed as testing “positive” for having the
coronavirus. And as of a week ago there were 11
“presumptive” cases. What is the number up to now? And
what else are we not being told?
Meanwhile the building has STILL
not been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected!
Flimsy gloves that tear quickly, some squirts of some kind
of liquid, and so forth – it’s just for show. And even
these token “measures” only happened after the union
denounced the company’s total indifference. As I wrote
last week, the company didn’t tell us anything
about what was going on with the coronavirus in our
workplace until the union blew the whistle. What more is
UPS hiding today?
Our job is classed as an “essential function.” As for us,
the workers who actually do the job, apparently
“essential” = “expendable.” We already knew the company
sees us that way. But it’s a real kick in the gut, in the
midst of this crisis, to experience this: that apparently
they’d rather see workers die than interrupt the flow of
profits. After all, “Business is booming,” they say. Even
before the COVID-19 crisis, last year UPS raked in almost
$74 billion in total revenue and over $4 billion in net
income. Last month, it announced the annual base salary of
its new CEO: $1,250,000 (that’s $104,167 per month).
Meanwhile, for us it’s “Your scans are low” – “Bring your
PPH up” – “Use the methods” and the rest of it, as they
push our work in drastically unsafe conditions to keep
pumping out their profits.
Speaking for myself, I make $17.59 an hour after 10 years
at UPS. Some brothers and sisters make less, others more.
The company clearly views us all as expendable, and thinks
our lives come cheap – but they aren’t for us, or for our
families. Now in many places and industries around the
country – even Amazon – workers are taking action, saying
we refuse to die for the bosses’ profits. It’s starting to
wake many people up to the fact that without the labor of
us, the working class, nothing moves. That means
we have power. It’s high time to use it.
SO ONCE AGAIN:– The entire Chelmsford facility
must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
Otherwise no work on Monday. This must
be done by an independent company specialized in that kind
of work, which UPS workers and regular cleaning staff are
not trained to do. All necessary and adequate protective
gear must be provided. UPS must follow and train people on
– We need an independent, all-worker health &
safety committee of union stewards and other
Chelmsford workers. That committee must ensure
compliance by the company. As the company keeps on
showing, we cannot trust them one bit. Sisters and
brothers off work in this crisis must get full pay. And
you know what? We should be getting hazard pay,
which should be double-time.
We won’t be sacrificed for their profits. Don’t let
the company wait til someone dies on the job.
That means: NO SAFETY, NO WORK! If there is
no thorough, independent cleaning and disinfection of
the facility by Monday, work there should not proceed
until it is done.
UNION POWER, WORKERS POWER
April 3, 2020
Safety, No Work!
To fellow UPS workers at Chelmsford
Yesterday (Friday, March 27) we learned that a full-time
Chelmsford Hub worker has tested positive for the
coronavirus, and that 11 others have been quarantined as
“presumptive” cases. Absolutely nothing was being done by
the company to provide gloves, hand sanitizer or any other
protective measures, “social distancing” or any such
thing. Meanwhile the company was playing videos about how
much money it’s making and how great things supposedly are
Did the company tell us about what was happening with
coronavirus at our workplace? No. We learned about
it because the president of our union local wrote a letter
to them accurately pointing out that “the Company has made
zero efforts to protect its employees.” The letter
demanded that the company provide gloves, Purell etc. and
follow the official CDC guidelines. I made copies of
Brother O’Brien’s letter and handed them out Friday night
on the midnight shift.
Then “magically” at the start of the pre-load shift,
gloves, hand sanitizer and some paper towels for wiping
surfaces appeared, and supervisors offered them to people.
Where were these supplies up to that point? Why weren’t
any of them given out until then? We know that all the
company cares about is $$$, but this is ridiculous
So now that they got the whistle blown on them, UPS
handed out some gloves etc. Is this enough? Absolutely
not. We demand:
- The entire facility has to be thoroughly cleaned and
disinfected by the beginning of work on Monday.
Otherwise no work on Monday.
- This must be done by an independent company specialized
in that kind of work. UPS workers are not trained to do
this. And the whole facility must be thoroughly cleaned
each day in the midst of this coronavirus crisis.
- Gloves and other protective gear for everyone. A
sanitizer dispenser at every bay.
The company must follow and train people on CDC
- 1 person per truck. Obviously this is needed
under CDC guidelines in this crisis and it’s up to us to
We need an independent, all-worker health
& safety committee of union stewards and other
Chelmsford workers. That committee must ensure
compliance by the company. As they have amply shown, we
cannot trust them one bit.
No safety, no work. If there is no thorough,
independent cleaning and disinfection of the facility by
Monday, work there should not proceed until it is done.
Union power, workers power – this is a matter of life
and death for us all right now.
March 28, 2020