LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Workers at one of Louisville's largest employers are worried they're at risk of contracting COVID-19.
Hourly UPS workers have complained for days that the company isn't taking all of the measures it should to stop the spread of germs while they work in close proximity to one another.
UPS released a statement on Tuesday:
"UPS places the utmost emphasis on the safety of our employees, especially as we work through this coronavirus pandemic. Here at Worldport, we are taking numerous extra steps to safeguard our workers. We are adding additional shuttles at Worldport to allow for more distancing, we have enhanced shuttle cleaning procedures, and we are looking at alternate drive paths to minimize the amount of time employees spend on the trams. We have enhanced cleaning of our employee entrances, break rooms and other common areas. Companywide, we continue to educate employees about good public health practices, most importantly frequent hand washing, as well as CDC guidance that it’s very unlikely to be infected by handling boxes.
This is a fluid situation, and we continue to look at practices and policies to enhance the well-being of UPS people as they move critical shipments that save lives and livelihoods during this crisis."
Currently, many employees ride shuttle buses from the parking lots to the buildings. Employees say those buses get crowded.
UPS plans to continue operations, despite employees' concerns about working in close proximity to each other.
"I wanted to know if we could have even just — just — gloves," said on employee who didn't want to be identified. "I didn't ask anyone for a mask. But at the time, when this first started — the fear — a couple of weeks ago, I went to HR, because we were getting no answers from our immediate supervisors. And they told us that we were overreacting and that we could not contact the coronavirus there over boxes."
Workers are calling for the company to sanitize work stations and equipment, allow extra time to wash hands during breaks, provide gloves for employees, limit the number of people riding each shuttle bus and limit the number of employees working in close proximity to eachother.
Workers are also asking the company to grant paid time off for new employees during this time of crisis. A UPS spokesperson says the company is abiding by the agreement ratified by the labor union.
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