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No jobs yet for some UPS workers

Medford employees will be called back as business picks up

About half of Medford's United Parcel Service workers returned from thestrike to find no work.

UPS began hiring back its striking workers Wednesday, putting about 20drivers and a few part-time staffers to work, said Jan Chambers, officemanager for Teamsters Local 962.

No numbers were available, but she said the company might have hiredback more workers Thursday.

Before the strike, UPS employed more than 80 people in Medford.

We're trying so desperately to get back on track, to try to returnto some sense of normalcy, said Tim Geesey, UPS' district human resourcesmanager in Portland.

UPS laid off 684 workers throughout Oregon and southern Washington onWednesday, meaning the workers had not yet been invited back to work. Thatshould be temporary for most workers, Geesey said.

But UPS estimates it lost about 5 percent of its business permanently.That could mean it'll have to lay off about that much of its work force,Geesey said.

I don't know of anybody that could suffer a loss like that andnot make it up somewhere, he said.

But the strike hit UPS harder in Portland than in Medford, Geesey said.A higher percentage of Medford workers may be called back because of that.

Employees returned to work according to their seniority. Part-time workers,who load the trucks and sort the packages, won't be hired back until theirservices are needed, Chambers said. That should be within a few days, shesaid.

A lot of the people did understand that it would be a while beforethey got returned to work, she said. There's no work available.They'll be recalled as the work returns.

UPS lost millions of dollars during its 15 days of near-inactivity, Geeseysaid. The company won't make that up easily, he said.

The company may have to raise its prices to compensate for the lost revenue,he said, although that hasn't been discussed yet.

It's devastating, he said. I think you're going tosee that we have to run a tighter ship.