National UPS-Teamster Agreement   |   Atlantic Area Supplement   |   Local Rules of Procedure
 

Current Documents As Part of the Public Record now filed in The District Court for Maryland:
Updated: 05/08/2005

04.19.2004   UPS' Motion to Transfer,   Aaron's Affidavit in Support
04.30.2004 O'Shea's Motion to Oppose UPS,   O'Shea Affidavit in Support
05.05.2005 UPS' Motion to Dismiss or in the Alternative to Bifurcate
  Cover Letter Clerk Letter Motion to Dismiss or Bifurcate Memorandum
   
Exh.'s: 
01   02   03   04   05   06   07   08   09   10   11   12  
05.05.2005 IBT Local Union 639's Answer to the Complaint
  Cover Letter Answer    
05.19.2005 IBT Local Union 639's Response to UPS's Motion to Dismiss or in the Alternative to Bifurcate
  Union's Response Memoranum
   
Exh.'s: 
01
05.19.2005 Plaintiff's Response to UPS's Motion to Dismiss or in the Alternative to Bifurcate
  Daniel O'Shea's Response Memoranum
   
Exh.'s: 
A  01   02   03   04   05   06   07   08   09   10   11
      12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22
   

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

FOR THE DISTRICT OF MARYLAND

DANIEL S. O'SHEA,                                                
                                                                              
Plaintiff,                                                                  
                                                                               
            vs.                                                              
                                                                               
LOCAL UNION NO. 639                                                Case No. JFM-05-937
INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD                          
OF TEAMSTERS,                                                     
3100 Ames Place, NE                                              
Washington, DC 20018                                           
                                                                               
SERVE:                                                                    
Local Union No. 639                                              
            International Brotherhood                        
                             of Teamsters                            
            3100 Ames Place, NE                                
            Washington, DC 20018                                   

           and                                                                  

UNITED PARCEL SERVICE, INC.                          
       55 Glenlake Parkway N.E.        
       
Atlanta, GA 30328               

            SERVE:
            Resident Agent      
            CT Corporation System 
            1015 15th Street, NW     
            Suite 1000   

            Defendants. 

COMPLAINT

            Plaintiff, Daniel S. O'Shea (Mr. O'Shea), by and through his attorneys, Mindy G. Farber, James E. Rubin, and Farber Taylor, LLC,  brings this action under Section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act, 1947 (29 U.S.C. §185), and Section 102 of the LMRDA (29 U.S.C. §412) to recover damages for unlawful actions by United Parcel Service, Inc. ("UPS"), and for breach by Defendant Local Union No. 639, International Brotherhood of Teamsters ("Union") of its duty of fair representation owing to Mr. O'Shea and for violating his rights.

            1.   UPS is a corporation organized and existing under the laws of the State of Maryland, and has its principal office in Atlanta, Georgia. UPS distributes small packages in interstate commerce and is an employer in an industry affecting commerce, as defined in Section 2(2)and 501(1) and (3) of the Act (29 U.S.C. §§152(2), 142(1) and (3)), and within the meaning of Section 301 of the Act (29 U.S.C. §185).

            2.   The Union is an unincorporated association existing under the laws of the District of Columbia, with its principal offices located at 3100 Ames Place, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20018.  The Union is a labor organization representing employees in an industry affecting commerce as defined in LMRDA Section 2(5) and 501(1) and (3) (29 U.S.C. §§152(5), 142(1) and (3)), and Section 301 (29 U.S.C. §185).  At all times relevant Union was the certified collective bargaining representative of Defendant UPS' package pickup and delivery  drivers, feeder drivers, tractor-trailer drivers, pre-loaders, sorters, package handlers and package car washers employed in Defendant UPS’ Laurel location.

            3.   Mr. O'Shea began working for UPS on January 20, 1979 as a part-time package pre-loader/sorter.  He held that position until November 2, 1981, when UPS promoted him to a full-time package delivery driver.  Mr. O'Shea was a faithful UPS employee for nearly twenty-five years.  When UPS terminated his employment in 2003, Mr. O'Shea was less than two years away from becoming eligible for retirement under the Teamsters Local Union 639 retirement plan.

            4.   UPS and the Union are parties to a collective bargaining agreement ("CBA") covering, among others, full time delivery drivers at the company's Laurel, Maryland location.  The CBA governed the terms and condition of Mr. O'Shea's employment with UPS.

            5.   During his entire career with UPS, Mr. O'Shea was a dedicated dues-paying member of the Union.   He was active in local union politics.   In nearly every union election, Mr. O'Shea actively campaigned against union officers John Catlett and John Steger, who held leadership positions during most of Mr. O'Shea’s tenure with UPS.  (Mr. Catlett and Mr. Steger, along with several other union officers, were known as the "CMS slate").  In addition, in 1989, Mr. O'Shea filed suit against the Union and UPS in this Court in O'Shea v. Local 639, et. al,  Case No. 89-2864, which settled on the sixth (6th) day of a jury trial.  As a result of Mr. O'Shea's opposition to their continued leadership and prior dissident activity, members of the CMS slate exhibited tremendous animosity toward Mr. O'Shea.

            6.   Between the time that Mr. O'Shea filed his prior suit and 2002, Mr. O'Shea continued to be a productive package delivery driver.

            7.   On January 21, 2002, Mr. O'Shea sustained an injury to his back while working on duty moving a dock ramp. After Mr. O'Shea injured his back, he sought medical attention and filed a claim for workers compensation benefits.

            8.   Before injuring his back, Mr. O'Shea would work during his lunch hour. After the injury, Mr. O'Shea exercised his right under the CBA to take a one-hour meal period to rest his back.

            9.   After Mr. O'Shea filed a clam for workers compensation benefits, UPS initiated a retaliatory campaign against him with the apparent intent of driving him from employment, causing O'Shea to submit a total of twenty-four (24) letters and grievances.

     For example some of UPS's activity included:

       ~   threatening to publish Mr. O'Shea's personal information publicly;
       ~   threatening to discipline Mr. O'Shea for activities that UPS acknowledged other drivers did without discipline;
       ~   threatened to discipline Mr. O'Shea for time-card errors he had no control over;
       ~   subjecting Mr. O'Shea to UPS customers outrage for undelivered packages; and
       ~   denying all or nearly all of Mr. O'Shea’s requests for assistance.

            10.  UPS's most direct method of harassment was to assign Mr. O'Shea an excessive number of daily stops for delivery, knowing that he would be unable to complete his assignment.  As a result, UPS forced Mr. O'Shea to return from his route with undelivered customer packages.  Indeed, between January 2003 and May 2003, UPS forced Mr. O'Shea to return almost one-thousand customer packages.

            11.  Part of the reason that Mr. O'Shea could not complete his route was UPS's 9.5 hour policy. According to the policy, a package driver cannot work longer than a 9.5 hour shift unless it is approved by management. If a UPS delivery driver works more than 9.5 hours, UPS can and will discipline that employee. Thus, each time UPS overloaded Mr. O'Shea, it placed him in a potential "disciplined if you do, disciplined if you don’t" position, i.e., the Company might discipline him for failing to deliver his assigned packages or discipline him for working more than 9.5 hours.

            12.  Mr. O'Shea filed numerous grievances to protest UPS's arbitrary and harassing actions, which were clearly motivated by the fact that Mr. O'Shea had filed a workers’ compensation claim.  The Union, however, refused to process or investigate properly Mr. O'Shea’s grievances, and thus, treated him differently from other members who filed grievances. For example, on March 5, 2003, Mr. O’Shea filed a grievance and requested that the Union investigate UPS's ongoing harassment. UPS was mocking the grievance procedure by meeting Mr. O'Shea, promising to correct its behavior, then ignoring their promises and beginning the harassment anew. Mr. O'Shea requested the Union to process the grievance to the AAPGC, since constant meetings did nothing to suppress the harassment. The Union offered no explanation for its failure to, among other things,  process the March 5, 2003 grievance.  It simply ignored him.

            13.  Because the Union refused to process Mr. O'Shea’s grievances, UPS was empowered to continue, and even escalate, its arbitrary and harassing actions.

            14.  On May 13, 2003, Mr. O'Shea filed three grievances to protest UPS' latest round of harassment, which involved a supervisor overseeing Mr. O'Shea while he learned a new route.  Shortly after Mr. O'Shea filed the grievances that morning, UPS manager John Pinnock accused him of failing to follow policies, procedures and methods that resulted in "service failures" (packages returned to the building).  Apparently, Mr. Pinnock was referring to Mr. O'Shea's conduct during his shift the previous day.  Mr. O'Shea denied the allegations and stated that he followed the same procedures that the prior driver assigned to that route had followed for several years and that a number of then current drivers followed.

            15.  At the end of their meeting, Mr. O'Shea asked specifically for direction from Mr. Pinnock about what he should do should he find that he was unable to deliver all of his assigned packages, as Mr. O'Shea realized that the policy that applied to him was different from the policy that applied to the rest  of the bargaining unit.  Mr. Pinnock responded, "Dan O'Shea knows what to do." Mr. O'Shea turned to shop steward Donald Smith and asked him if he knew what that meant. Mr. Smith  responded, "I have no idea."

            16.  UPS did not discipline Mr. O'Shea.  After the meeting concluded, Mr. O'Shea went to his package car to begin his route for the day. He immediately recognized that UPS had again assigned him too many packages to deliver in time for UPS' air-package deadline.  Mr. O'Shea reported the problem to Mr. Pinnock, as in the past, to suppress management harassment and workplace abuse,  and informed Mr. Pinnock that he was using his tape recorder.

            17.  By way of background, Mr. O'Shea has carried and used a tape recorder at work for nearly fifteen  years. He repeatedly has informed both the Union and UPS that he carries a tape recorder and that he occasionally records his own thoughts, note-taking, as well as significant workplace conversations, such as his earlier meeting with Mr. Pinnock.  His purpose for carrying the recorder was to suppress workplace harassment, not only in the past, but the current abuse occurring since his workers compensation injury, especially since the  Union refused to process some of Mr. O'Shea's grievancce.  In the years prior to May 13, 2003, neither the Union nor UPS ever raised an objection to Mr. O'Shea’s use of a tape recorder.

            18.    After Mr. O'Shea told Mr. Pinnock about the tape recorder, Mr. Pinnock instructed Mr. O'Shea to remain in the building.  Mr. Pinnock then met with UPS managers Brian Kirchoff and John Morris, who were aware that Mr. O'Shea carried a tape recorder.  After their meeting, Mr. Pinnock told Mr. O'Shea that he was being "terminated for failure to follow UPS methods, procedures and policies and the dishonest use of a tape recorder."

            19.  Under the CBA, UPS may immediately terminate an employee only if he or she commits a "cardinal infraction."  A cardinal infraction is defined as "dishonesty, drinking alcoholic beverages during the workday, use or possession of illegal drugs while on duty, recklessness resulting in serious accident while on duty, or the carrying of unauthorized passengers while on the job."  If a UPS employee commits a transgression less severe than a cardinal infraction, the CBA requires the company to impose progressive discipline in the form of at least one warning before termination.

            20.  After Mr. Pinnock terminated Mr. O'Shea, he instructed him to turn in his identification card. While UPS’ security guard checked Mr. O'Shea’s bags, Mr. O'Shea searched for his identification card and discovered that it was missing.  Mr. Pinnock told Mr. O'Shea to go back to his truck and locker and look for the missing card.  After searching, Mr. O'Shea returned to the guard house and stated that he could not find the card.  Mr. Pinnock repeated, "I need your ID card."  Mr. O'Shea again repeated his search with the same results.  Mr. Pinnock repeated, "I need your ID card." Mr. O'Shea offered to go to UPS' human resources department and get a new ID card to appease Mr. Pinnock. Mr. Pinnock repeated, "I need your ID card."  With the situation becoming abusive, Mr. O'Shea left the premises. UPS cited this incident in support of Mr. O'Shea’s termination.

            21.  On May 16, 2003, Union shop steward Larry Hopkins filed a grievance on Mr. O'Shea's behalf.  When Mr. Pinnock received the grievance, he balled up the paper, threw it in the trash, and stated, "I don’t accept grievances from Dan O’Shea."

            22.  Shortly after his termination, Mr. O'Shea applied for unemployment benefits.  UPS contested his claim for benefits, alleging he had committed gross misconduct rendering him ineligible to receive compensation.

            23.  On May 27, 2003 the State of Maryland, Office of Unemployment Insurance, after investigating, issued a Notice of Benefit Determination in favor of Mr. O'Shea.  The Notice stated:

"The claimant was discharged from United Parcel Service on 05/12/03 because he allegedly recorded a meeting when he was told not to. Insufficient information has been presented to show that the claimant's actions constituted misconduct in connection with the work. As a result, it is determined that the circumstances surrounding the separation do not warrant a disqualification under Section 8-1002 or 8-1003 of the Maryland Unemployment Insurance Law. Benefits are allowed. If otherwise eligible."

UPS appealed the decision, and again, the State of Maryland, Office of Unemployment Insurance approved O'Shea's claim for benefits, denying UPS's appeal.

            24.  On June 13, 2003 Mr. O'Shea asked the Union about the status of his grievance.  The Union responded that it had postponed a hearing on his grievance for a month.  The Union's President, John Catlett, cited the rules of the Atlantic Area Parcel Grievance Committee's (AAPGC) Rules of Procedure, Article V, titled, "Hearing Procedures" and Section 2, titled, "Postponement of Cases" which states:

"Neither party shall be entitled to more than one postponement on any given case and there shall be no more than (2) postponements for any reason on any given case, except in the case of proven medical emergency which must be approved by the Union/UPS Co-Chairpersons."

            25.  On June 18, 2003, Mr. O'Shea filed a grievance protesting the postponement based on Article 50, or the CBA, titled, "Discharge or Suspension" which states:

"Appeal from discharge, suspension or warning notice must be taken within ten (10) days by written notice and a decision reached within thirty (30) days from the date of discharge, suspension or warning notice."

            26.  In July 2003, defendants again postponed a hearing on Mr. O'Shea’s grievance in violation of Article 50.  Mr. O'Shea's grievance case was not heard until more than ninety days after the date of his discharge.  The Union never addressed nor processed Mr. O'Shea's grievance to the AAPGC.

            27.  In the months leading up to the hearing, Mr. O'Shea asked the Union on several occasions to conduct an investigation into his claim of unfair treatment by, among other things, interviewing a number of witnesses and requesting specific exculpatory documents.  Mr. O'Shea asked that the Union obtain:

• his call in report for May 12, 2003, which showed he followed proper UPS procedures;
• his electronic message communication to UPS on May 12, 2003, which showed he informed UPS that he   was unable to complete service on all of his packages;
• his numerous letters to UPS, notifying the company that he carried and used a tape recorder;
• the UPS policy on returning packages, which would show Mr.
O'Shea followed the procedure;
the UPS policy with respect to employees using a tape recorder; and
• UPS's history of disciplining drivers for purportedly violating a state law.

            28.  The Union ignored Mr. O'Shea's repeated pleas, requesting that it obtain the above information as well as other information critical to his defense.

            29.  Further, the Union ignored Mr. O'Shea’s request to secure a number of key witnesses who would have raised serious doubts about UPS's discharge allegations, such as:       

statements from other UPS drivers, shop stewards and former supervisors who knew intimately   that O'Shea carried a tape recorder in his pocket for at least fifteen (15) years; and
• statements from other center drivers who would have verified that
Dan O'Shea had used the   correct policy and showing that he was denied the same policy that other drivers at the time   were following.

     Notably, in the past, the Union had produced some of these same individuals to serve as witnesses for other Union members, again denying Mr. O'Shea the same opportunity to defend himself that the Union had given to other employees .

            30.  As the hearing on Mr. O'Shea's grievance approached, one employee stated to Mr. O'Shea that his case was, "a slam dunk against you, not because of the merits, but because the Union won’t do anything for you." Which explains why the Union was refusing to investigate O'Shea's case, denying him key documents and witnesses and why the Union was acting in bad faith toward Mr. O'Shea.

            31.  Despite the Union's complete failure to investigate Mr. O'Shea's claims, his grievance proceeded through the grievance procedure to the Atlantic Area Parcel Grievance Committee ("AAPGC").

            32.  After the hearing, the AAPGC upheld Mr. O'Shea's termination.  According to the Committee:

"The Company proved Grievant guilty of material violations of methods, procedures and instructions in failing to notify the Company of undelivered stops in a timely manner, thereby resulting in service failures. The Company proved Grievant guilty of recording meetings with the company in violation of Company Policy and instructions, rendering his conduct insubordinate. The Company proved Grievant guilty of violation of the clean-in/clean-out policy by his refusal to allow search of his bags prior to his departure. The Company thus had just cause to discipline grievant. Discharge is appropriate penalty. Grievant should have been kept on the payroll pending resolution of this grievance; and he shall be made whole for wages and benefits lost for the period from the date of his discharge letter through the date of issuance of this decision. The grievance is otherwise denied."

            33.  In truth, it was the Union's failure to investigate, present  witnesses, and obtain documents that led the AAPGC to its decision.  As stated, the Union failed to obtain significant exculpatory evidence, such as Mr. O'Shea's electronic communication to UPS on the day he allegedly "fail[ed] to notify the Company of undelivered stops in a timely manner."  Based on information and belief, these electronic communication show that Mr. O'Shea did timely notify the company in accordance with the policy set forth for Columbia Center country drivers at the time.  Likewise, the Union failed to obtain the company  policy on recording meetings or other instances where a member had been disciplined for committing substantial similar conduct.

            34.  It is noteworthy that the AAPGC decision is itself inconsistent with the CBA.  Because the Committee found that UPS should have kept Mr. O'Shea on the payroll pending the Committee’s decision, it held that he did not commit a cardinal infraction.  As stated, however, for any violation less severe than a cardinal infraction, the CBA requires that UPS give at least one warning that the conduct violates company policy. UPS knew for fifteen years that Mr. O'Shea used a tape recorder, but gave no such warning notice as required by the CBA.

            35.  Approximately ten hours after the AAPGC issued its decision, before it had published the decision to Mr. O'Shea, UPS sent an injury settlement offer to Mr. O'Shea.  The settlement offer indicated that Mr. O'Shea was no longer a UPS employee.  This action clearly shows that the full force of UPSs actions against Mr. O'Shea was to retaliate against him for filing a workers compensation calim and then force him into a much less than satisfactory settlement of his injury.

            37.       In the most recent Union election, a group of union members known as the "Members United" slate succusfully challenged the incumbent CMS slate.   The Members United slate printed and distributed to the membership 3,000 copies of a website maintained by Mr. O'Shea (http://mysite.verizon.net/dsoshea) as campaign literature.   The website describes how the Union – as run by the CMS slate –  failed to represent him.    

COUNT I

    BREACH OF THE DUTY OF FAIR REPRESENTATION/BREACH OF THE

COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT

            38.  Mr. O'Shea adopts and incorporated by reference all factual  averments in the foregoing paragraphs.

            37.  The Union’s acts in, among other things, failing to process Mr. O'Shea's grievances, failing to obtain critical documents, refusing to conduct any meaningful investigation, and otherwise ignoring Mr. O'Shea's attempts to save his job were either arbitrary, discriminatory or taken in bad faith.  Indeed, the Union treated similarly situated members more favorably than it treated Mr. O'Shea by conducting an adequate investigation and responding to requests for information.  Such actions by the Union constituted a willful breach of the Union's duty to represent fairly the members of the bargaining unit, including Mr. O'Shea.

            39.  As a result of the Union’s willful breach of its duty of fair representation, Mr. O'Shea has suffered and will continue to suffer financial hardship, severe emotional and mental distress, loss of wages and benefits, and loss of employment opportunities and career advancement.

            40.  Further, UPS breached the CBA by, among other things, failing to follow its own procedures  and terminating Mr. O'Shea without just cause.

WHEREFORE, Mr. O'Shea demands judgment against the defendants and prays:

            A.        That this Court direct defendants to take such affirmative action as is necessary to ensure that the effects of its unlawful actions are eliminated and do not continued to effect Mr. O'Shea's employment opportunities;

            B.         That this Court order defendants to pay Mr. O'Shea back pay, front pay and other compensation to date;

            C.        That this Court award Mr. O'Shea nominal, general, and compensatory damages in the amount of $3,000,000; punitive damages in the amount of $3,000,000; and reasonable front pay;

            D.        That this Court award Mr. O'Shea reasonable attorney's fees and other costs of this action

            E.         That the costs of this action be taxed against defendants; and

            F.         That this Court award Mr. O'Shea such other and further relief as may be deemed just and equitable, including reinstatement.

COUNT II

     WRONGFUL DISCHARGE -- RETALIATION FOR FILING A WORKERS' COMPENSATION CLAIM

       41.  Mr. O'Shea adopts and incorporated by reference all factual averments in the foregoing paragraphs.

            42.  UPS''s acts in harassing Mr. O'Shea, by among other things, subjecting him to discriminatory policies, non-existent policies and policies that changed immediately and without notice at his discharge, and ultimately terminating his employment were taken solely because Mr. O'Shea asserted his legal right to file a workers compensation claim..

            43.  The right to file a workers compensation is a matter clearly  protected by Maryland law, which makes it a criminal offense to retaliate against an individual for asserting his or her rights.

            44.  As a result of UPS’s willful retaliation against Mr. O'Shea  for filing a workers compensation claim, Mr. O'Shea has suffered and will continue to suffer financial hardship, severe emotional and mental distress, loss of wages and benefits, and loss of employmentopportunities and career advancement.

WHEREFORE, Mr. O'Shea demands judgment against the defendants and prays:

            A.        That this Court direct UPS to take such affirmative action as is necessary to ensure that the effects of its unlawful actions are eliminated and do not continue to affect Mr. O'Shea's employment opportunities;

            B.         That this Court orders UPS to pay Mr. O'Shea back pay, front pay and other compensation to date;

            C.        That this Court award Mr. O'Shea nominal, general, and compensatory damages in the amount of $3,000,000; punitive damages in the amount of $3,000,000; and reasonable front pay;

            D.        That this Court award Mr. O'Shea reasonable attorney's fees and other costs of this action;

            E.         That the costs of this action be taxed against UPS; and

            F.         That this Court award Mr. O'Shea such other and further relief as may be deemed just and equitable, including reinstatement.

JURY DEMAND

Plaintiff requests a trial by jury on all issues.

                                                                        Respectfully submitted,

                                                                        Daniel S. O'Shea

                                                                        Pro Se Plaintif

 

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