He was a union shop steward for eight years, and, as he says, held in good standing by the company. The Circle of Honor club. Three years and 40 grievances later, Robinson was fired, in part, for running a stop sign in an apartment complex. You didn't blow your horn loud enough. You walked in front of a package care versus walking behind it. You didn't pull your mirrors in. The company calls them method or procedural infractions.
They're firing people for filing an info notice improperly. You know the notice you leave on the door for a customer? You make a simple error on an info notice and that is a means to terminate you. They build up enough of these charges, they take you to arbitration and have you terminated. In , Robinson filed three separate complaints against UPS with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging discrimination based on age and race, as well as allegations of retaliation from the company.
UPS responded to the allegations with a letter to the EEOC calling them "frivolous" and saying Robinson was fired for violating basic safety rules. UPS also claimed in its response that Robinson had a history of performance problems pre-dating his first federal complaint and noted that his termination was upheld in arbitration.
Robinson challenged the company's response. He's not the first driver in the Triangle to make claims of discrimination against the company. Last year, another former Chapel Hill UPS driver named Glenwood Robinson no relation sued the company, claiming discrimination based on race. His court filing makes specific allegations of instances where he says white drivers were treated differently than black drivers.
Again, UPS pushed back, highlighting Robinson's work record. The company's legal response described it as "the worst" among Chapel Hill drivers and said he failed to follow safety protocols and engaged in unprofessional conduct. His termination was also upheld in arbitration. You're all going to make mistakes because you're all in a rush, rush, rush.
You're a human being. Everybody's going to make mistakes. It's up to management if they're going to allow who gets away with it. UPS said in its response that it was a fireable offense. His time for that ran out after 90 days. Regarding the allegations of discrimination or harassment you contacted us about, UPS has thoroughly investigated all claims made by the employees in question and believes there to be no merit in any of them. We continue to have to live our lives.
When you get fired, you're on fire to do something to get revenge on this company. That lasts two to three months. But meanwhile, you're real life will kick in. I got a mortgage over here. I need to eat. So you kind of dribble off until you get one foul ball that gets you back up again. Like other drivers we talked to, Robinson sees the courts as one of their last remedies. Not so much for us but for the next group of drivers to come along.
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