UPS driver fires back at union and management in federal court

Steve Gonzalez Jun. 22, 2006, 2:07am

A man fired from United Parcel Service claims his union breached its duty of fair representation and the company breached its contract according to a suit filed in federal court recently.

Chad Yonaka of Richland County, Ill. claims he was involved in an auto accident while driving a UPS tractor trailer on March 29, 2005.

He claims a car with no headlights ran into his tractor causing him injuries which would allow him to be released of duty pursuant to Article 14 of the labor agreement.

According to Yonaka, he was asked to go to the Olney UPS Center for a meeting with the union and management on April 7, 2005, and was fired on April 8, 2005.

"Yonaka had worked for UPS for more than 18 years, and had an excellent attendance record and had at all times been an excellent employee," the complaint states.

Yonaka claims the union agreed to represent him at a panel hearing in Chicago on April 28, and it had a duty to represent him with respect to his involvement in the accident and the hearing and with respect to his discharge.

He claims UPS accused him of being involved in a serious accident, however he claims the accident was not serious. Yonaka also claims the union did not properly prepare him for the hearing before the panel.

Yonaka also claims that a union representative was heard saying that Yonaka had given false testimony and had falsified a police report when he had not.

Yonaka claims he had not even filled out a police report and that someone else did it for him and claims he told the truth at the joint hearing.

According to the complaint, Yonaka lost income and fringe benefits as a result of the acts of the defendants. He claims as a result of the union's failure to properly represent him he has lost medical insurance and had to pay for medical bills.

"Yonaka has no plain, adequate or complete remedy at law to redress the wrongs alleged, and this action seeking injunctive relief as well as damages is his only means of securing adequate relief," the complaint states.

Yonaka is represented by Virginia O'Leary of Oakland City, Ind.

The case has been assigned to District Judge Michael Reagan.

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