In what's being called a historic case, the Los Angeles office of the National Labor Relations Board is looking into whether port trucking company Intermodal Bridge Transport engaged in unfair labor practices toward its drivers by misclassifying employees as independent contractors, according to Heavy Duty Trucking.
The NLRB filed the complaint based on charges by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Union that IBT was misclassifying its drivers as independent contractors to prevent them unionizing and accessing other protections given by the National Labor Relations Act. The Teamsters also charged IBT with threatening and coercing drivers who participated in union-organized strikes.
The charges were sent to the NLRB offices to determine whether or not a legal complaint would be issued based on the merit of those charges.
IBT must now file an official answer to the complaint and has been ordered to appear before an NLRB administrative law judge in court on June 13. The court will give both sides an opportunity to present arguments and testimony to the allegations in the complaint.
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Editors Insight: At a time when transportation providers should be doing everything they can to entice people to become drivers, disputes like this should not be happening. The resources the company will spend in fighting these charges would be better spent convincing drivers they don’t need to join unions to have good pay and good working conditions.
Another news story in today’s newsletter reports that driver turnover among large carriers reached 100 percent or above for the second straight quarter. With the driver shortage showing no signs of abating, the transportation industry should be way ahead of the government and labor unions in trying to improve drivers’ lives. 4-29-16 By Elliot Maras