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Fridays are paydays for Edgardo Villatoro — and also for the company where he works, XPO Port Services.
Villatoro, 54, gets paid for driving tires and furniture from Los Angeles-area ports to railway stations. But in return, he has to compensate the company for renting a truck, parking, insurance on the vehicle, and maintenance. He also buys diesel fuel.
Premium Transportation Services, also known as Total Transportation Services, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The port truck company’s financial troubles are the result of 25 labor disputes regarding employee classification.
The Teamsters have struck a major victory in their campaign to organize port drivers. The California Labor Commissioner’s office has ordered Pacific 9 Transportation to compensate 38 employee drivers who were misclassified as independent contractors. The company will have to pay the drivers for illegal paycheck deductions, back wages and legal costs.
Port truck drivers keep America moving.
From our shores to every store, port drivers are the first or last leg of the journey for what becomes the clothes on our backs, the food on our table, the shoes on our feet, plus the few remaining products we ship overseas. Stuck in the shadows until now, port drivers are fighting back against mistreatment and misclassification. Forced to pay for their bosses’ business costs like fuel, truck lease payments, liability insurance, even parking – you name it the cost is deducted from their paychecks – means some weeks drivers have to literally pay to work, creating modern-day sweatshops, just on wheels. We all pay the cost: tired drivers means unsafe roads; old and poorly maintained trucks means polluted unhealthy air; and industry tax fraud means taxpayers pick up the tab. Support the courageous effort America’s port drivers are making to bring back good jobs, safe roads and healthy air.