Port and rail truck drivers from XPO Logistics’ Cartage and Port Services divisions on strike to protest illegal subcontracting schemes, unfair labor practices.

XPO Logistics (NYSE: XPO) is a global publicly traded corporation whose subsidiaries, XPO Cartage and XPO Port Services, Inc., are together among the top trucking companies servicing the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. XPO’s major drayage customers include Toyota and BMW, Procter and Gamble, and Sony. XPO and its subsidiaries are facing multiple legal and enforcement agency actions for alleged wage theft due to misclassification of their drivers as independent. The California Labor Commissioner has awarded $1 million to five drivers employed by XPO Logistics; XPO is appealing the decision. Click here for a fact sheet regarding misclassification and wage theft cases against XPO.

American corporations have pushed tens of millions of American truck drivers, warehouse workers, and service sector workers into poverty through greedy subcontracting schemes designed to increase CEO pay. Over the past ten years, CEO pay has increased 997 percent, driven in part by companies subcontracting out work to. One of the most insidious corporate schemes is to classify employees as “independent contractors.”

Corporations illegally misclassify workers as independent contractors to:

  • Lower wages;
  • Avoid paying benefits to workers;
  • Evade laws providing protections to employees, such as minimum wage, overtime, health and safety, unemployment benefits, or workers’ compensation laws; and
  • Shift risks and business expenses onto employees, including making employees pay for the companies’ payroll taxes (Social Security, unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation policies, etc.).

At the forefront of this effort have been the mostly misclassified 100,000 short haul truck drivers who move containerized cargo on and off the docks of our nation’s seaports and rail yards and have been pushed out of the middle class and into deep poverty. Ground zero of this campaign has been the 12,000 port drivers at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, where many have called the big rig trucks that carry the containerized freight we rely on “sharecroppers on wheels” because of the debt peonage system created by misclassification.

SOURCE: Justice for Port Truck Drivers