PRESS ADVISORY FOR: Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
- Barb Maynard, Justice for Port Drivers, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Kara Deniz, Teamsters, email@example.com
Hours after mass civil disobedience at Port of LA highlightingTPS crisis…
Federal judge blocks federal government from deporting hundreds of thousands of immigrants in US legally on TPS program
PORT OF LOS ANGELES, CA – Today, supporters of striking port drivers and warehouse workers took defiant action to protest the illegal and exploitative working conditions at America’s largest port complex – and to call attention to the looming crisis at the Ports with the cancellation of the “Temporary Protected Status” (TPS) program, which – if not resolved – will result in the deportation of approximately 1,400 port truck drivers. Even more drivers beyond the ports will likely be affected, including intermodal rail drivers that move containers to and from rail yards near the ports.
64 immigrant rights activists, labor leaders, and members of the clergy sat down at the busy intersection of South Figueroa Street and West Harry Bridges Boulevard at the Port of Los Angeles and were arrested when they quietly refused to get up.
“I am really happy that the court has blocked the government from deporting port truck drivers like me who have been here legally, played by the rules, and developed deep roots here in this great country. I am thankful to the Teamsters and community groups who have supported. I am hopeful that with such support my family will not be separated and I’ll be able to keep providing for them,” said Cesar Rodriguez, a 46 year old father of five from El Salvador, who immigrated to America 21 years ago with his wife to escape the violence in his home country and has been living here legally pursuant to the TPS program. Cesar is misclassified by his employer, XPO Logistics (NYSE: XPO), and went on strike Monday morning to demand his employee rights.
Drivers at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have been challenging their misclassification as “independent contractors” and exercising their rights as employees by engaging in collective action in the courts, in their truck yards, and at the ports – including 15 strikes in the last five years. It is estimated that there have been legal misclassification claims pursued on behalf of at least half of the misclassified drivers at America’s largest port complex, either by drivers filing individual wage claims or being part of class action lawsuits. Upon investigating the facts, multiple agencies and courts at both the state and federal levels have determined that drivers are, in fact, employees and therefore protected by employment and labor laws. Read more
XPO Logistics (NYSE: XPO) is a global logistics company with revenue in excess of $15 billion. XPO Port Services, which specializes in moving goods to and from the ports, and XPO Cartage, which moves goods to nearby intermodal rail yards, are together among the top trucking companies servicing the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. There are approximately 280 alleged misclassified drivers working for both companies in their LA-area locations and about 160 additional drivers in XPO Cartage’s San Diego facility. XPO and its subsidiaries are facing multiple legal and enforcement agency actions for alleged wage theft due to misclassification of their drivers as independent contractors. Read more
NFI Industries is one of the largest goods movement companies in America, with warehouses and port trucking operations across the U.S. In 2017, NFI purchased the California Cartage family of companies, which were – and continue to be – the largest drayage and warehousing operating at the Ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach.
The NFI/Cal Cartage family of companies includes five major trucking operations at the Ports of LA and Long Beach. The four largest – K&R Transportation California LLC; Cal Cartage Transportation LLC, Container Freight Transportation LLC, and CMI Transportation LLC – have been facing multiple claims in the courts and government agencies for misclassifying their drivers. Combined, more than 600 alleged misclassified drivers work for these companies. Cal Cartage Container Freight Station in Wilmington is a warehouse and freight center on Port of LA property and employs approximately 500 workers, with 40-50 percent of the workforce being employed through a temp agency. The company has been cited for serious health and safety violations twice in the past three years, and workers face serious retaliation resulting in unfair labor practices charges and five strikes. Read more