Target’s trucking contractor ordered by judge to reclassify contract drivers as employees; judge rules that misclassification is an illegal scheme to stop drivers from forming a union and drivers must be reclassified
Ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach, CA –An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) has issued a decision in the case based on charges originally filed in 2015 by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters alleging violations of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) by Intermodal Bridge Transport (IBT), specifically to stop drivers from exercising their right to form a union to improve their wages, benefits, and working conditions. The charges filed by the Teamsters included an allegation that misclassifying workers as “independent contractors” is in and of itself a violation of the NLRA. On November 28, 2017, Administrative Law Judge Dickie Montemayor issued a detailed ruling in which he agreed with the Teamsters that “misclassifying employees as independent contractors” is an “unfair labor practice” and a violation of their rights under the NLRA (which only covers employees, not legitimate independent contractors).
The ALJ ordered the company “within 21 days after service” (Nov. 28, 2017) to “cease and desist” from “misclassifying employees as independent contractors,” “interrogating,” threatening,” and “coercing” employees. The company is ordered to rescind in writing any company documents such as predatory lease agreements that “purport to classify employees as independent contractors,” and to post a notice stating “WE WILL NOT misclassify employees as independent contractors.”
The ALJ’s ruling comes after multiple strikes by drivers at IBT, claims for wage theft, a class action lawsuit, and a national exposé unequivocally validating port drivers’ demands for justice. In fact the company lost an account with one its customers, Michael Kors, purportedly due to the prolonged labor dispute.
“Every day, I move containers filled with products destined for Target, Amazon, or General Electric from the docks to local warehouses, where they begin their journey to homes across the country. I’m proud to be a vital part of our local and national economy but Intermodal Bridge Transport has made it increasingly difficult for me to make a living by illegally, and immorally, classifying me as an independent contractor instead of an employee. As a result, I am saddled with debilitating costs – everything from fuel to insurance to the lease for the truck are deducted from my paycheck leaving me with barely enough to get by – and deprived of my essential rights as a worker and a human being. With this ruling, justice has been served and the company can no longer deny me my employee rights.” – Daniel Aneseko Uaina, driver, Intermodal Bridge Transport
Source: Justice for Port Truck Drivers