Detroit’s Marty Peters Delivers 60 Years of Service to UPS
DETROIT, Feb. 27, 2006 - When Marty Peters pulls on his brown uniform in the pre-dawn hours on March 7 and reports for his regular 3:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. shift at UPS (NYSE: UPS), he’ll pass a service milestone exceeded only by the company’s founder - 60 years of non-stop service.
Even at a company where drivers average 17 years on the job - four times longer than the typical American worker - the 83-year-old Peters is the longest-tenured of UPS’s 407,200 global employees.
And Peters is far from slowing down. The Macomb Township resident currently works full-time as a “shifter” and a clerk, splitting his time between the cab of a heavy truck moving trailers among the loading docks at a UPS center in Detroit and then moving inside to help packages with incorrect addresses find their way to recipients.
“On behalf of all of UPS’s employees across the world, I’d like to thank Marty Peters for delivering six decades of dedicated service to UPS and its customers,” said Mike Eskew, UPS’s chairman and CEO. “And I’d like to congratulate him as he celebrates this remarkable anniversary.”
Only two people in UPS history worked 60 years or longer. Jim Casey, the man who founded UPS at the age of 19 in 1907, worked until his death in 1985 and Paul Oberkotter, the company’s third CEO, worked 60 years before stepping down.
Peters was fresh out of the Army when he began working for UPS on March 7, 1946. He started out making about 95-cents an hour and appreciated the fact that unlike the delivery company for which he worked before the war, UPS provided his uniform, including a brown bowtie.
“You couldn’t get out the door unless you had a bowtie on,” Peters recalled with a chuckle. “That was a big priority at UPS, shine your shoes and a bowtie.”
In the 1940’s, he drove a four-cylinder, air-cooled White Horse delivery truck with no heater or defroster. Sometimes he’d buy a kerosene lantern to generate a little heat against the frigid Michigan winters. But since the truck also had no turn signals, the heat would quickly dissipate when Peters rolled down the window to signal a turn.
Since then he’s held a variety of jobs from sorting packages and loading trucks to driving a tractor trailer on a regular route between Detroit and Grand Rapids and running the local customer counter.
“I’d say I’ve had just about every job UPS has got,” he said. “And it keeps you moving, I tell you. There’s no easy job at UPS.”
Peters has seen big changes in the way UPS drivers do their job. And the biggest have been driven by rapidly advancing technology like the small handheld computers - known as Delivery Information Acquisition Device or DIAD - that replaced the pen and paper drivers used to carry to record pickups and deliveries.
And he’s seen big changes in the city of Detroit. When he started, UPS delivered about 1,200 packages a day in the state of Michigan. At the height of the company’s holiday rush last December, UPS delivered about 2 million packages in a single week in the Detroit area alone.
As for now, he says he’s not thinking of retirement. And he’s also not thinking of wearing the brown shorts for which many UPS drivers are known.
“My wife says my legs are for her eyes only,” Peters said.
UPS is the world’s largest package delivery company and a global leader in supply chain services, offering an extensive range of options for synchronizing the movement of goods, information and funds. Headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., UPS serves more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. UPS’s stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange (UPS) and the company can be found on the Web at UPS.com.
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WHAT DOES 60 YEARS MEAN?
With 60 years of service, Detroit’s Marty Peters has been working longer than most of UPS’s competitors have been in existence. UPS was founded in 1907.
With 60 years of service, Marty also now has far outdistanced his closest colleague on the seniority list. UPS has 68 active employees who have been with the company at least 40 years, but not one of them - besides Marty - has passed the 50-year mark.
Over the course of 60 years, Marty Peters has used fewer than five sick days and his current manager can’t even recall him calling in sick. “He’s always here, and I mean always,” says center manager Bill Jones.
For a portion of his remarkable career, Marty drove a tractor-trailer unit for UPS, amassing 1.4 million miles on the road.
While working as a “shifter,” part of his current job, Marty moves trailers to and from the loading docks at his package center. So far, he’s made more than 100,000 such trailer moves in all kinds of weather.
Marty is an hourly employee, but he’s also an owner of the company with a significant retirement fund in UPS stock.
Outside of work, Marty has been happily married to his wife, Christine, for 55 years. They have four children; nine grandchildren, and two great grandchildren.
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See photos of Marty: http://pressroom.ups.com/multimedia/images/events/
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