UPS drivers say they're concerned about 70-hour work weeks ahead of Christmas

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NORWOOD, Mass. - UPS drivers in Massachusetts say the Christmas crunch is leading to potentially dangerous demands.

We see them all the time – drivers in their brown uniforms delivering packages door-to-door. But on Monday, drivers are taking a stand against the company.

Drivers say they’re already working long, grueling hours. That’s true especially during the holiday season.

Now the union president wants to send a message that working a 70-hour work week is unfair.

The imposed 70-hour work week is nationwide, but the union said employees across New England will take a stand Monday.

They said it’s unsafe that the company is putting profits ahead of people.

"We want the public to be aware it's unsafe what they're doing," UPS driver Stephen O'Connell said. "We're the ones behind the wheel."

And drivers who usually show up early for their shift joined in on the demonstration before heading out for their normal shifts.

"UPS appreciates exceptional effort of all employees during our peak holiday shipping season, when delivery volumes near double the normal level," UPS said in a statement Monday morning. "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 and they receive the industry’s most attractive compensation and benefits program.”

Below is from the letter that Teamsters Local 25 President Sean O'Brien sent to UPS management: 

“Teamsters Locals throughout New England vehemently oppose this unilateral implementation of a 70-hour work week.  While the union and our members realize this is an extremely busy time of year, we also realize UPS is again putting profits ahead of people.  As Teamsters, we put our members’ safety and health as our foremost concern.  And the implementation of a 70-hour work week jeopardizes our members and the general public’s safety and health,” said Teamsters Local 25 President Sean M. O’Brien in a letter to the UPS regional labor manager.  

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