[UPDATE BELOW]: The United Parcel Service has fired 20 drivers for staging a 90-minute walkout in protest of a fellow driver's dismissal last month, and 230 more unionized employees at the company's Maspeth facility are expected to lose their jobs in the coming months.

As reported by the Daily News, the February 26th walkout was held as a demonstration against the firing of Jairo Reyes, a union activist who had been employed by UPS for 24 years. The walkout was one of several protests that month, and on Monday 20 workers were fired after their shifts in retaliation. "They just called me in ... (and) said, ‘Effective immediately, you are no longer on the payroll,’” Steve Curcio, who worked for the company for two decades, told the tabloid.

UPS also reportedly informed over 200 additional employees that they would be terminated as soon as replacements were found. "The misconduct on Feb. 26 was serious and the company is taking contractually appropriate actions to address those employees involved in the unauthorized work stoppage," the company said in a statement, noting that the workers knew the walkout violated their contracts. The workers, meanwhile, had argued that Reyes's firing violated those same contracts by not providing him with a required termination hearing. The workers are members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 804.

UPS has a $43 million contract with the city and reportedly saves a significant amount of money in parking fines as a result. Public Advocate Letitia James blasted UPS over the firings, noting that "[t]hese are middle class jobs that sustain families, and we can ill afford to have [so many] adversely affected by a rash decision. We’ve given UPS breaks, particularly as it relates to this (parking) program."

And a number of City Councilmembers, including Daneek Miller, who represents Southeast Queens's District 27, have drawn up a resolution demanding UPS "revoke the notices of termination delivered to employees at its warehouse in Maspeth and resolve its dispute with these employees through negotiations" with the union. As per the resolution, "Although UPS maintains that the job action was illegal, these tools have long been staples of successful labor movements, and union members should not be restricted from employing these strategies if they feel workers are being treated unfairly."

One of the employees who faces termination had just returned to work after sustaining a brain injury while on the job. He had been in a coma for 10 days following the January injury and says his work performance was criticized even before the walkout. "I said I was doing my best and they said I had been better before,” the employee, Domenick DeDomenico, told the Daily News. “I said ‘Okay, this is my new best,’ and they said ‘It’s not good enough.'"

UPS has not responded to request for comment.

Update 3:18 p.m.: UPS spokesman Steve Gaut tells us that UPS is taking "justifiable action to address the Local Union’s and the employees' misconduct," noting that the contracts negotiated between the drivers' unions and the company do not include walkouts or work stoppages. Gaut says that on February 26th, "There was a grievance meeting being held related to discharge of employee. The local union leader chose to go outside dispute resolution procedure by inviting employees to walk out." According to Gaut, 250 out of 1400 employees followed him, and were warned they were overstepping the boundaries of their contracts before leaving the building.

All 250 employees will be terminated as a result. "We deliver important packages that include everything from business critical goods to live-saving medicines. We simply cannot allow employee misconduct that jeopardizes our ability to reliably serve our customers and maintain order in our delivery operations," the company told us in a statement. "For this reason, the company is releasing employees involved in the work stoppage."

Jairo Reyes, the employee whose termination the drivers were protesting, was fired because of a dispute over his work hours, according to Gaut.

Tomorrow, Public Advocate Letitia James and a number of city union leaders will hold a press conference outside City Hall demanding that UPS rehire the drivers. UPS has received a number of letters from elected officials as well. "In our view, it's not appropriate to have local elected officials decide when it's appropriate for a handful of New York-based employees to break the rules," Gaut told us.