Just two weeks before America chooses our nation’s next president, capping an election year battle that has centred around rebuilding the middle class and fixing our free trade agreements, port truck drivers and warehouse workers at two of America’s leading logistics companies, the California Cartage family of companies and Chinese government-owned Intermodal Bridge Transport, are going on strike to protest alleged misclassification, wage theft, abusive treatment and unlawful working conditions in an industry that has been allowed to operate outside of the United States labor laws that protect American workers from exploitation and dangerous working conditions and benefits big box and luxury retailers like Target and Michael Kors, as well as the U.S. Department of Defense.
Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016, port truck drivers and warehouse workers from two leading logistics companies went on strike for the 14th time in three years to protest violations of U.S. labor laws, violation of their employee rights under the National Labor Relations Act and unsafe working conditions. The alleged violations include:
Misclassification as independent contractors.
Persistent wage theft.
Harassment, retaliation and intimidation for concerted union activity.
Unsafe working conditions.
Wednesday morning, drivers from Container Freight/California Cartage, the largest of the companies in the Cal Cartage family of companies, walked off the job and joined the picket lines at the company yard, which is located on property owned by the Port of Los Angeles.
Additionally, on Monday, three K&R Transportation/California Cartage drivers filed claims before the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. The three claims combined allege over $500,000 for business expense reimbursements and wages that were due in the form of illegal deductions, unpaid minimum wages, and meal and rest break premiums on the theory that they were misclassified as independent contractors. The drivers named K&R Transportation LLC and Robert A. Curry Sr. as defendants.
Meanwhile, misclassified independent contractor drivers from Chinese-government owned Intermodal Bridge Transport are being individually called from picket line to testify in an ongoing trial at Region 21 of the National Labor Relations Board, where the NLRB has found merit to the drivers’ charge that their misclassification is in and of itself a scheme to rob them of their right to form a union at their workplace.