This morning in the upscale suburbs of Connecticut, rank and file union leaders from a continent away are joining U.S. truck drivers and the Teamsters outside a shareholders’ meeting for XPO Logistics to take the company to task for its treatment of workers both here and abroad.
The nation’s busiest ports are emerging as a key battleground in the legal fight over whether truck drivers should be counted as employees or independent contractors.
The Port Authority asked the Environmental Protection Agency, the states of New York and New Jersey, and the truck drivers themselves to share the cost of a fix, but not the shipping companies, which claimed they couldn’t afford it — despite record-setting port traffic last year.
A trucking company that works at California’s teeming ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach has filed for bankruptcy protection, facing a demand to pay nearly $7 million to its truck drivers over a labor dispute.
“Misclassification is not just wage theft; misclassification deliberately robs workers of their right under the law to unite for a better future,” said Fred Potter, Vice President, International Brotherhood of Teamsters and Director of the Teamsters Port Division.
Was Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Anthony Albanese, right to say that evidence shows that better pay for truck drivers will improve safety?
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.
Drivers working for XPO picketed against the company Monday, Feb 29. The drivers joined protests already underway by drivers for Pacific 9 Transportation.