UPS (UPS) is firing some 250 of its drivers in Queens, NY, who walked off the job for 90 minutes to protest the dismissal of a fellow employee.
The New York Daily News reports that workers at the Maspeth facility protested on Feb. 26 — and were later informed that they would be terminated. There were 20 employees fired on Monday, with the remaining 230 to be fired after replacements are trained.
A UPS spokesman told the paper that the drivers were alerted that their jobs would be in jeopardy if they walked out — though that has not stopped union leaders from fighting back
The mass firing has enraged Tim Sylvester, head of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 804, especially since the company gets some lucrative perks from the city.
“They just called me in … (and) said, ‘Effective immediately, you are no longer on the payroll,’” said Steve Curcio, 41, a 20-year employee earning $32 an hour.
The workers had protested the firing of Jairo Reyes, a 24-year-employee and union activist.
The firings are being disputed by union leaders and will undoubtably result in further talks.
But while the firings are likely to cause UPS some unwanted PR issues, there are not likely ones that Wall Street will notice.
In fact, UPS has been buzzed about recently due to its dividends, which has been strong for the past decade (via SeekingAlpha).
…UPS has shown consistent improvement in distributing incremental cash flows to its shareholders, and the company has grown its dividends at an average annual growth rate of about 7.5% since 2009. Currently, the company pays an annual dividend of $2.68 per share, yielding 2.8%. During the last year, UPS distributed cash dividends of $2.26 billion. Furthermore, the company repurchased shares worth $3.8 billion, which means the total cash returned to the shareholders stood at $6.1 billion.
UPS stock is down 7% year to date, but up 16% from last year.