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Union leaders, UPS respond to COVID-19 outbreak at Tucson UPS facility

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TUCSON - United Parcel Service, commonly known as UPS, is a busy company that reaches thousands of doors in just a few hours.

At the UPS facility on Silverlake Road and Park Avenue in Tucson, they have seen an outbreak of the coronavirus and a local union has said the company isn't doing enough. 

Karla Schumann is with Teamsters Local 104 and they represent the workers at the UPS facility.

"Our folks are working tirelessly, endlessly with excessive hours in heat and in the middle of a pandemic and it is breaking down their immune system," Schumann said.

"These guys go to thousands upon thousands of businesses and front doors everyday. They pick up your volume they deliver your Amazon pick up your volume, they deliver your Amazon packages," Schumann continued. "We all ship everyday, more so now, and it is imperative that we keep a healthy, strong and clean workforce out there."

Both Teamsters Local 104 and UPS said they have the health of the workers at the top of their mind.

A UPS spokesman responded with the following statement:

“Our first priority is always the safety of our employees and the communities we serve. We have been in active communication with Local 104 leaders in Tucson to hear and address their concerns. In any instance where there is a confirmed diagnosis, we immediately contact the Department of Public Health to facilitate a contact trace, fully clean the work area before work resumes, and communicate with potentially impacted employees. We have rigorous safety protocols in place, including cleaning our facilities multiple times a day, providing our employees with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), implementing social distancing, and providing supplies to clean their work stations and vehicles. We have both a privilege and a responsibility to continue safely working during this challenging period.”

Matthew O’Connor, senior manager of UPS Public Relations

Furthermore, new research on the coronavirus has been released.

The research suggests that the coronavirus is not as transmissible as once thought.

However, the company and the union that represents the workers at the UPS facility do not want to take any chances. 

The union has given credit to UPS for taking steps, including taking employee's temperatures upon arrival to the facility, but the union claims UPS is not going far enough.

Teamsters Local 104 wants testing available for the UPS workers who request it.

Daniel McFarland

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