UPS workers fear layoffs

December 24, 2008 7:43:03 PM PST
It's going to be a nervous Christmas for people who brighten the season by delivering holiday packages. There are rumblings of possible layoffs at UPS facilities throughout the Bay Area. It all hinges on how well the company performs during this tough shipping season.

"It's Christmas Eve. Everyone's coming to get their money and have a good day or holiday," said a UPS worker.

How long the pay checks will keep coming is the big question at the UPS Distribution Center in Richmond, which employs 600 full-time and part-time workers.

"The talk is if you don't have over five years seniority, you have the possibility of getting laid off. So if you got five years you're safe. If you don't, you're not," said Jovanne Hollman, a UPS Employee.
"But nothing's been decided yet?" asked ABC7's John Alston.
"Not yet," said Hollman.

UPS says nothing has been determined. It all depends on how good business is, which could affect whether full-time employees are given part-time jobs and part-timers are laid off. It hasn't been the best of years for UPS which told Wall Street in October it had cut 3,000 jobs company-wide and was bracing for what could be the worst December shipping season in more than 15 years.

A UPS spokesman says the volume of business has always dictated the number of employees the company needs or doesn't need. In the past, UPS has willingly released information about the number of packages it handles. A spokesman says because of the economy, those numbers won't be revealed this year. In the meantime, that financial mystery is fueling uncertainty about the future for workers at the distribution center.

"It depends. I may have to get laid off also or I may be able to stay because of my seniority," said Lawrence Lewis, a UPS Employee.

"We haven't heard anything. They're being tight-lipped about stuff," said Julian Baca, UPS Employee.
"What does it mean to you? Do you know?" asked Alston.
"I got five or six years, so they'll get through a lot of people before they get to me, but we're all worried about it," said Baca.

And the worrying will have to continue through the holidays because UPS won't make a decision about possible layoffs until sometime in the first quarter of next year.


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