Port Trucking Company Fined Over Questionable Labor Practices
Truckers are famous for braving the roads in a variety of conditions in order to get the job done. But truckers have been more vocal in recent years when it comes to seeking the fair treatment they believe they deserve for their efforts. And while some debates can be settled outside of court, a Port trucking company has become the target of legal action based on unfair labor practices. The case has been labeled historic, as the Los Angeles office of the National Labor Relations Board had to determine whether or not a popular trucking giant has misclassified employees.
Intermodal Bridge Transport had charges filed against them by the NLBR by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Union. The claim said that the company was misclassifying drivers as independent contractors, which stopped said drivers from having access to unionization and numerous protections in the National Labor Relations Act. The Teamsters also claimed that IBT has threatened and coerced drivers who participated in strikes organized by established unions in the area.
Unionization is a very sensitive topic in many fields, and trucking is no different. In fact, truckers are often subject to some of the most arduous and demanding work schedules and conditions in any industry. The ability to organize and petition for the benefits they claim they deserve is very important to many drivers, so it’s no wonder that this issue ended up in court. IBT must file an official answer and has been ordered to appear before a judge in order to present their argument against the allegations.
Julie Gutman Dickinson, attorney for the Teamsters Port Division said: “The compliant issued by the NLBR regional director represents a determination that misclassifying drivers in and of itself violates the NLRA. The compliant will lead to an historic trial where for the first time a judge will determine whether the act of misclassifying drivers in and of itself violates the National Labor Relations Act.” This case will set a major precedent for future hiring and staffing practices for trucking companies. Many truckers are hoping that the ruling prevents companies from strong-arming them and attempting to deny them the benefits and protections they feel they deserve for their work.