Dismissed Truck Drivers Returned To Work In California

October 22, 20210

In a California port, dozens of truckers were fired weeks after they voted to form a union.

A group of 30 drivers voted to team up with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. The truck drivers worked for Universal Intermodal, which operates several companies transporting freight containers through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

On October 19, a federal judge ruled that their employment termination notices violated federal labor laws.

Drivers will be reinstated and paid with bonuses, according to the Los Angeles Times.

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.”


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