Brian Trackl, 39, had been working for UPS in the city of Kelowna in the province of British Columbia in Canada, when he allegedly punched a female customer while delivering packages to her outside of the Pharmasave store where she worked.
A disagreement, which was caught on a surveillance camera at the store, started between Trackl and the employee about whether he had to accept packages from her that she wanted to return, according to labor dispute documents about the case.
Trackl was then shown in the footage pushing the woman, who the documents described as “slight” and about 60 years old, causing her to stumble.
She then attempted to punch him before he responded and “proceeded to punch her in the face, with some force.” He then grabbed her by her arms and the pair continued to argue before Trackl left in his vehicle.
During the subsequent investigation by UPS into Trackl, the 39-year-old was asked what he would have done differently if he was in the situation again, with him replying that he “would have grabbed her wrists and yelled into the store that this woman is crazy and for someone to come and get her.”
Trackl then said that: “These days due to the #metoo movement, the woman is always right and the man is always a monster,” during the meeting that concluded that he would be terminated from his employment with UPS.
After he filed a grievance with the Teamsters Union, Trackl was reinstated to his role and was instead given a time-served suspension of one month.
However, the night before the July 16, 2020, meeting where Trackl’s firing was overturned, he sent a text message to a coworker that included a picture of him wearing a FedEx uniform captioned “F** UPS.”
Trackl also sent the photo to three other UPS drivers and told one of them that he was thinking of taking a leave of absence from the company that he described as “toxic.”
Screenshots of the picture and the messages were sent to UPS management, causing BC Division Manager Roy Bains to email the Kelowna supervisor: “I did not know this before I had the meeting yesterday. I reinstated him but is there a way to cancel the reinstatement?”
UPS then terminated Trackl’s reinstatement to work, but his union submitted a grievance calling the case “conceptually odd,” as an arbitrator was forced to rule on whether he should be terminated for dishonesty and not for the original altercation.
The union said that a “deal is a deal,” but UPS said that Trackl never apologized for his text messages and they noted that he had been written up by the company five times between 2017 and 2019.
The arbitrator, Koml Kandola, ended up ruling in favour of UPS on Monday, calling Trackl’s actions “deliberate” and explaining: “I find he lied about being remorseful so that he could convince Mr. Bains to give him his job back.”
Kandola added: “I am persuaded that a viable employment relationship based on honesty and trust is no longer possible, and that discharge was not an excessive response.”