LOS ANGELES — Dozens of California port truck drivers were fired just weeks after they voted to form a union.
But a federal judge ruled on Oct. 19 that their termination letters violated federal labor laws. The truckers will be reinstated and be given back pay, with interest, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.
The drivers worked for Universal Intermodal, which operates several companies that transport freight containers through the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports.
The group of about 30 drivers voted to join a local of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
Administrative Law Judge Michael A. Rosas found in his ruling that the company was in violation of federal labor law on multiple counts, according to the Times.
He said that the company unlawfully interrogated and fired two employees leading union efforts and that once workers at the facility unionized, it slashed their hours, closed the Compton facility where many of them worked, and laid off the unionized workers in order to punish them for organizing.
The company laid off about 70 employees in total from facilities in Compton and Fontana, including workers employed by its Roadrunner and Universal Trucking subsidiaries.
Rosas said in his ruling that the company laid off these other workers to crack down on future union activity by getting rid of “all employee drivers who were or could be tainted by the union,” and then moving forward with plans to hire new “untainted employee drivers days after the layoff.”
“Judge Rosas today made clear that the Universal group of companies violated the law at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in a blatant effort to trample on employees’ fundamental right to form a union,” Ron Herrera, the Teamsters port division director, said in a statement. “We cannot allow any corporation, no matter how big, to ignore the law, especially as drivers work tirelessly to address the backlog at the ports and supply our community with the goods they need this holiday season.”
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.
While I don’t like Unions the Judge was correct in this case and the company was in the wrong.
Both union and non union work is important. Workers rights and relative pay to cost of living have taken a beating the last few decades. Unions setting a standard for pay and benefits can help to right the ship for rights and standards of living.
I agree with the judge in this case and there is power in numbers. Unions do not seem like a good way to go at the time but later in life you will appreciate the fact that your wages are what they are because of collective bargaining POWER.
Judge is right in reinstating the drivers.
I feel for companies fear of unions like the Long Shore-men union that is the sole reason America hasn’t modernized their ports to be on par with the rest of the world in speed efficiency, volume, safety & cost of processing import & export shipping containers from ship to shore, shore to ship, whether truck or rail.
The union is anti American & corrupt. It’s a Union out of control & needs to be broke!
JHG IF THATS HOW YOU FEEL I WILL HIRE YOU & pay you 5.oo dollars & hour and let you work all the hours you want to work !
If management stayed in their lane and acted fair and equitable there might not need to be a need to organize. Unions came into play to protect labor from wrongful management. Improve conditions and build solidarity amongst the working man! Here is another example of management taking advantage of disadvantaged drivers and then retaliating. They deserve what they got! We are in the middle of the worst supply chain fiasco’s in the history of the country and management there is deliberately cutting the throats of the link to get freight moving.
If you don’t like unions enjoy eating Alpo in your senior years in your shanty under the bridge.
You got that right, Alex! Without that judge those truckers didn’t stand a chance.
I think that company’s actions are indicative of EXACTLY why those drivers do need union representation. Congratulations drivers, now you have representation when that company tries to bully their employees..which is EXACTLY what they just tried to do.
32 year teamster, just retired with a pension and lifetime medical at 62. With the cost of medical, and Medicare not kicking in until 65, I would have never been able to go out at 62.