LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Layoffs at UPS’s Centennial Ground Hub in Louisville will begin in February, the company announced Thursday, just weeks after the Teamsters union threatened to strike over layoffs.
Centennial is a ground package hub located near UPS’s Worldport global air hub at Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport.
“Due to fewer packages in our network, we are reducing package sorting operations at the Louisville Centennial Ground Center,” the company said in a statement.
“Daytime sorting” at the hub will close on February 16, but “twilight sorting” at the hub will not be impacted.
“In our industry, packages mean jobs, and we need to match capacity and number of jobs with current package volume,” a UPS spokesperson said. “Our employees are extremely important to us and we understand the impact this may have on their families. We are working to minimize the impact on our employees as much as possible.”
UPS declined to disclose the number of workers laid off, but said some employees may change positions. Affected employees include some part-time sorters, some administrative employees and management. Drivers are not affected.
Earlier this month, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters union threatened a strike when 35 “specialists” and “administrators” were fired after voting in October to join Teamsters Local 89. The company then reversed course and gave those employees their jobs back with a full refund.
UPS said this round of layoffs was “operational” and not due to unionizing efforts. When asked if there would be future layoffs, UPS said “we regularly evaluate our workforce needs but do not speculate about the future.” The company said it has closed other facilities across the country to adapt to “changing customer demand.”
Since threatening a national strike and winning significant raises in contract negotiations last summer, the Teamsters have focused on organizing the remaining non-union employees at UPS’s vast Louisville operations, including at Worldport.
According to the Teamsters, UPS disagreed on whether the specialists and administrators who voted to join Teamsters Local 89 in October were eligible for collective bargaining, but an independent arbitrator ruled. sided with the workers.
This is a developing story that will be updated.
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