Monday, March 31, 2014

Huge Teamster victory at the Port of LA/Long Beach!

from teamster nation

Pacific 9 Transportation (Pac 9) agreed today that its port truck drivers are employees and have the right to join a union, according to a settlement reached with the Teamsters today. The settlement is part of a series of state and federal actions that strengthened the hand of truck drivers who want union representation at the Port of LA/Long Beach, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The settlement follows a finding by the National Labor Relations Board that Pac 9 drivers have been misclassified as “independent contractors” under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Further, the NLRB’s Region 21 found that drivers have been subjected to unlawful retaliation for exercising their legal rights to organize a union. (Read the settlement here.) 

According to the Los Angles Times,
The agreement comes after repeated victories at the state Labor Commissioner’s office, where 30 drivers have won decisions against 11 port trucking firms, awarding them $3.6 million in wages and penalties.
Eric Tate, Teamsters Local 848 secretary-treasurer, told the Times he's thrilled with the settlement:
I am ecstatic. They dug into this situation and found there is a serious problem here. We are trying to protect jobs and workers who are being mistreated.
The ruling from the NLRB regional office could affect the entire port trucking industry, which currently leaves many of America’s port drivers working full time yet earning less than minimum wage. 

According to HDT Trucking Info,
...the settlement does not include Pacific 9 Transportation admitting to any wrongdoing. 
Pacific 9 drivers have filed more than 50 wage and hour claims with the California Labor Commissioner and went on strike in November 2013 in protest of unfair labor practices. They were joined in a 36-hour protest by drivers of Green Fleet Systems and American Logistics International, also located in Carson, just north of Long Beach. 
Pac 9’s business practices have also attracted the attention of the Tax Division of the California Employment Development Department for misclassifying drivers and failing to pay unemployment and workers compensation taxes, according to the group.
Josh Eidelson at Salon quoted Pac 9 driver Amador Rojas,
Now that the government has validated what I’ve always known – that I am misclassified as an independent contractor – I have the rights of an employee and can fight for better conditions at work and a better future for my family through a Teamster contract.
Pac 9 owns the trucks driven by the drivers, but forces them to pay for fuel, tires and maintenance. Because the company misclassified them as independent contractors, they didn't receive benefits or enjoy legal protections as employees.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

No Future at Conway

There are currently plans in place at Conway that they are set to implement within the next few years. Those plans include the complete elimination of line haul runs. They plan on using contractors to run the freight. Furthermore, they plan on doing away with full-time employees and moving to a part-time and temp workforce. The purpose of that being a reduction in pay and abolishment of health benefits. It looks like Conway is dead set on doing this and they will do this. The only way to avoid this is to organize a union. These kind of drastic change of operations doesn't  happen at ABF, YRC, or UPS. Their work is legally protected by their UNION contracts. If we hope to have any kind of future here at Conway it's time we get our own contract.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Outsourcing Jobs

In a show of pure Capitalistic greed, Conway, plans to outsources office jobs to the Philippines. A common practice among union-free corporations, Conway was not to keep paying a respectable living-wage to have their billing done. No, instead they plan to scan the bills and send them overseas where they will no doubt save money by paying a poverty wage to people in a third-world country. What else can this company keep getting away with??? What will it take for the work force at Conway to band together and force Conway to keep jobs here? United we have a voice! Divided we will keep falling one by one.