Michael Davis is a lawyer who fights for compensation for the injured, but he didn't have much hope for one of his clients: Franklin Marusky, a UPS driver and member of Teamsters Local 177 in Hillside, N.J. Unable to call out of work due to severe injuries from an off-the-job accident, Marusky was terminated from UPS.
To make matters worse, the accident left Marusky a quadriplegic and suffering brain damage. While his family, including his three children, was distressed and Marusky remained in critical condition, they learned that his benefits were being discontinued.
“I made countless phone calls to determine why the benefits would be terminated and if anything could be done to provide badly needed health insurance and short-term disability benefits,” Davis said. “Time was of the essence and I did not have a good feeling that this matter would be resolved in a favorable or timely manner.”
Enter Robert Cherney, President of Local 177. After calling the Teamsters, Davis was convinced that the union would do all that it could to help Marusky and his family.
“Miracles do happen because as a result of the assistance and work of Robert, Franklin was reinstated as an employee of UPS, his health benefits were retroactively reinstated and his short-term disability benefits continued to provide the necessary funds to maintain a place to live for his children,” Davis said.
Cherney said he sees Marusky’s story as just another example of what unions do for their members.
“From the moment I spoke with Michael, Franklin's lawyer, it was clear that Franklin and his family were struggling with more than enough and desperately needed the union to intervene,” Cherney said.
“So many people don’t appreciate the benefits of being part of a union until they need their union to assist them,” Davis said. “I told Franklin’s family that for all of the years that Franklin paid dues and may not have realized the potential benefit of those payments, they were some of the best monies that he’s ever paid for in his life.”