In a major arbitration victory for Teamsters Local 2785 UPS package drivers, members are getting justice this week after a long battle against the company for skimping on drivers’ overtime pay.

The fight began with a grievance filed by the local in response to the company delaying drivers’ start times. Persistence by the union led to a favorable arbitration ruling and a remedy of $1.6 million for drivers at three UPS centers in San Francisco, Menlo Park, and San Bruno. The settlement covers approximately 1,100 members.

“Local 2785 is pleased to have been able to win this arbitration against UPS, protecting our start times and getting the penalty,” said Joe Cilia, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 2785. “UPS was wrong and the union held their feet to the fire. It was a long battle, but we never gave up.”

Although the company paid the delay penalty at the beginning of the day, it did not pay the delay caused at the end of the shift when the workday was lengthened past the normal quitting time. The union charged the company with violating Article 22, Section 2 of the Northern California Supplemental Agreement. UPS initially tried to delay the case, which was heard at the local supplemental grievance panel, deadlocked at the Western Region Panel, and eventually moved to arbitration.

Ultimately, the arbitrator agreed with the union, finding that “The Union has proven that when the Company orders Package Car Drivers to report to work later than their scheduled start times, in concert Article 22, Section 2(c) and Article 22, Section 3(a) of the NorCal Supplemental Agreement require that the Drivers be paid both a 1.5X delayed start time penalty, and 1.5X overtime wages beginning at their regular quitting times on the same day.”

Even after this ruling, a secondary conflict arose over the remedy, with UPS complaining that it would be impossible to go back and calculate what all the members were owed. The company also wanted to exclude anyone who had since quit or retired before the settlement was reached, but the local held its ground and got UPS to pay all members who were on the payroll regardless of their current status.

“This has been a long, hard fight, and in the end our members won,” said Troy Mosqueda, Local 2785 Business Agent. “We showed UPS they could not get away with taking advantage of us and violating our contract. It makes me proud to be a Teamster.”

“This is what it means to be a fighting union that goes to bat for its members at UPS and digs its heels in until victory,” said General President Sean M. O’Brien. “I commend and congratulate Local 2785 leaders and members for their perseverance and clawing back $1.6 million from UPS’s greedy hands, putting it back in the pockets of the members who rightfully earned it.”

“UPS will pay every damn time it tries to pick our members’ pockets. UPS’s soaring profits come from Teamsters – and we are coming for a whole lot more in the next contract in 2023,” O’Brien added.