UPS has reversed its firing of 250 workers for taking part in a 90-minute strike in February, the company told Business Insider on Wednesday.
The reversal comes after a public uproar over the mass firing, which we reported last week.
UPS officials decided to rehire the workers as part of an agreement reached Wednesday in a meeting with union officials.
“The 250 UPS employees involved in the walkout who were terminated for their actions will have their terminations reduced to a two week suspension without pay for each participant,” UPS spokesman Steve Gaut told Business Insider in an email. “UPS has chosen to settle the matter in order to return to normal operations at the site.”
As part of the agreement, the branch of the union representing the workers, Teamsters Local 804, will compensate UPS for damages associated with the Feb. 26 walkout, Gaut said. Union officials also acknowledged in the agreement that the strike was “illegal and unauthorized and will undertake other actions within the bargaining unit to correct the situation,” he said.
The union disputes that claim.
”The work stoppage on Feb. 26 was legal and permitted under the union contract with UPS,” a Teamsters Local 804 spokesman told Business Insider. “Under the agreement reached with UPS, Local 804 acknowledges that the union’s internal procedures for authorizing a strike were not properly followed on Feb. 26 and we have agreed to communicate the proper procedure to all union members.”
The UPS employees who were fired walked out on their jobs on Feb. 26 to protest the dismissal of one of their coworkers, Jairo Reyes. As part of the settlement reached Wednesday, Reyes’ discharge will be reduced to a suspension without pay for the period from Feb. 26 until he returns to work.
“We’re looking forward to turning the corner and getting on a new road with UPS,” Teamsters Local 804 President Tim Sylvester said. ”The drivers delivered they’re message to UPS about unfair treatment. Now every one them will be back delivering packages.”
A group advocating for the fired workers called the resolution a victory.
“After several weeks of sustained worker and community pressure, UPS has reversed the firing, and all 250 workers, including Jairo, are getting their jobs back,” Joe Dinkin of the Working Families Party told Business Insider in an email. “This is huge news. And it proves that even in an economy where the power of employers over workers is stronger than ever, when workers stand together, they can still win.”