SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — UPS drivers are raising concerns about overtime.
They worry the holiday rush, could be putting them in danger.
Some drivers say they are already feeling the pressure of grueling hours.
UPS told KPIX 5 that it expects to deliver roughly 750 million packages between Thanksgiving Day and December 31, 2017.
As more people purchase more products online, delivery drivers are working longer hours to meet the delivery demand.
“Our concerns are safety,” said Joe Cilia, representative of Teamsters Union 2785.
As brown paper packages begin to pile up in our doorways this December they come with some strings attached, at least for the drivers dropping them off.
On Friday, UPS workers in San Francisco learned they could be working up to 70 hours in an eight-day period this holiday season.
That’s up from 60 hours in years past.
UPS Driver Eric Del Castillo said, “We basically go home, eat and get in bed and fall asleep. Some guys out here don’t even take a shower cause they’re so tired. They get in there and just go to bed.”
Drivers like Del Castillo say this could be dangerous.
“We’re already working 60 hours a week and you know, we’re already fatigued,” Del Castillo said.
UPS released this statement:
“Our employees’ scheduled work week is in compliance with Department of Transportation requirements. Union-represented employees are paid time and one-half for work above 40 hours per week.”
Union representative Joe Cilia said, “You have to follow their instructions. If you don’t follow their instructions that could lead to discipline, up to and including discharge.”
Cilia says overtime is a year-round problem. In fact, he has employees regularly filing overtime grievances.
Jimmy Lam was one of them. He filed three excessive overtime grievances with UPS.
Lam showed up to work in June and took the life of three coworkers before turning the gun on himself.
Drivers say the job is stressful. Cilia wants to make sure this already challenging time of year doesn’t put drivers in unsafe situations.
Cilia said, “If they are stressed and overworked they need to call off and rest so that their heads are straight and that they’re driving safe on the streets.”
UPS says its workers can expect to be on the hook for these 70 hours between now and January 5, 2018.