After a day of negotiations with the Teamsters Local 804, UPS will re-hire the 250 Queens drivers who lost their jobs in late March for participating in a 90-minute walk-out to protest the firing of union activist and longtime employee Jairo Reyes. Reyes will also get his job back, the New York Daily News reports. In exchange, UPS spokesman Andy McGowan said the Teamsters had to agree that the February demonstration was "illegal and unauthorized." (In their own statement, Local 804 maintained that the work stoppage was permitted under their contract with the company.) They will also pay UPS undisclosed damages for the deliveries missed during the hour and a half the drivers were protesting.
"We have sent a clear message to corporate America that firing workers en masse for minor workplace disagreements is unacceptable," said Public Advocate Letitia James, who had warned UPS that its large state contract and city perks could be jeopardized if it didn't negotiate with the union. The drivers will, however, have to accept some lost wages: As part of the agreement, they will all serve a two-week suspension, which means giving up about $2,560 each.