By Cheryl Fiandaca

BOSTON (CBS) – Sheila O’Malley of Charlestown couldn’t believe it when she opened her paycheck from her seasonal job at UPS. “I was shocked,” she told the I-Team. She worked 41 hours that week, many of them during the overnight, and ended up with just $14.52.

Sheila assumed it was a mistake and the money would be refunded. In part, because Sheila, like other thousands of other seasonal part time UPS workers, signed an agreement to pay the $500 Teamsters union initiation fee in $32.00 weekly installments. But UPS told her it wasn’t a mistake. A spokesperson for UPS told the I-Team, “Local 25 reversed this long standing practice by rescinding this policy.”

For the new hires, that meant the balance of the union initiation fees and dues would be deducted in one lump sum. For Sheila, that was $490.00- nearly her entire week’s pay.

“I cried and tried to plead my case with them. But there was no wiggle room. He [union representative] said ‘You’re a part of the union now and you won’t have to worry about that coming out of your check,’” she said.

Some employees tell WBZ the union blamed UPS for what happened. But all of this finger pointing doesn’t matter to Sheila and the thousands of others who were left with little or no money.

“Financially it was crippling. It seemed like a few hundred dollars but that money was already spent and then we didn’t have it,” she said.

Sheila O’Malley (WBZ-TV)

The I-Team has learned the National Labor Relations Board is now investigating charges of unfair labor practices against the Teamsters Local 25.

According to employment attorney Sol Cohen, it is possible the union may have violated federal regulations. “I would hope the union would take a look at this policy and reverse it and allow employees to go back on a regular payment plan,” he said.

Sheila says she thought the union was there to make sure UPS employees got paid a fair wage for the work they perform, telling WBZ, “I thought they were supposed to protect our rights.” In this case, Sheila says she didn’t feel protected and didn’t think what happened was right.

UPS says the union reinstated the payment plan after it collected all of the fees and dues. Because of the pending NLRB cases, the Teamsters had no comment.

Cheryl Fiandaca

Comments (63)
  1. Carole Scovel says:

    This union as outlived it’s it’s usefulness. It is just a big business looking out for itself and the people who run it.

  2. Jodee Gronlund Skille says:

    Where is the humanity? Karma is real,

  3. Leon Ford says:

    Thank God I live in a right to work state, no union thuggery here!

  4. FORCED to join an organization in order to work. Politicians in MA see nothing wrong with this? Make MA a right to work state and let the individual figure out what is best for them. Or are the political donations from the unions too big to loose?

  5. Betty Edmonds says:

    I am a 78 year young woman who worked several different jobs. I only worked under a union job one time and I said “Never Again”. They forced me to work a morning shift due to union policy seniority when someone went on vacation and I was very happy with my evening shift. It was just for two weeks but that was MY two weeks of MY life. I was a full-time employee.

  6. Curtis Stone says:

    “Sheila says she thought the union was there to make sure UPS employees got paid a fair wage for the work they perform, telling WBZ, ‘I thought they were supposed to protect our rights.'”

    As a wise man once said, “there’s a sucker born ever minute”.

    Unions served an important purpose back in the dawn of the industrial age.

    For at least the past 60 years the only purpose for unions has been to line the pockets of union officials (and, in many cases, organized crime).

    Luckily there are plenty of states to live in that you can’t be forced to join a union if you don’t want to.

  7. Frank Earl says:

    Rescinding a policy like that, regardless of your reasons, after the employees sign an agreement TO it is a material breach of agreement. There’s hints there.

  8. Unions Good! They Help! They no mean harm!…………….. BAWAHAHAHAHAHA Unions are just a bunch of troglodytes grabbing working people’s money. It’s time to end unions!

  9. Thomas Fiorito says:

    In Massachusetts you have no choice, if it’s a Union shop you have to join, so why is there an initiation fee, mostly because the teamsters like most unions are organized crime.

  10. John Diamond says:

    no wonder union enrollment is the lowest it has ever been. Between unions and H.O.A’s. people are getting wise to the threat of groups that hold collective rights over their own personal freedoms and choices.

  11. Tim McClure says:

    That’s why I use FedEx

  12. Bryan Azzy Spiegel says:

    What did the union do to earn that money? This is theft by coercion, plain and simple.

  13. Step 1: Steal workers paychecks. Step 2: Give the stolen money to the democrats. Step 3: Blame republicans and capitalism.

    Unions suck!

  14. handymanmike says:

    A lot of hot bootlicking going on here. What a bunch of kinksters!

  15. Phil Dornan says:

    Watch how many do seasonal work NEXT year! Get ready for late packages.

  16. Ronnie Allgood says:

    Unions are nothing but a bunch of thugs to begin with. I think I’d tell UPS to take one of their trucks, put in in reverse and back it up their asses. By the way UPS, I’ll never ship another thing through your pathetic company.

  17. I think if the union was regulated like in Canada. It could adopt a rule that makes the deductions much lower. 2 Exempt Seasonal Workers from Union Dues in the near future.

    Yes they should be their for the worker and simply stop giving non members union benefits would also work.

  18. Daniel Millen says:


  19. Steve Knickerbocker says:

    There is this thingy they call right to work. That means where it applies you have the right to work without being extorted by unions. You can join if you want, but you don’t have to. Right to work, get it.

Leave a Reply