By Karen Robes Meeks, September 5, 2014
Truck drivers who deliver goods to and from the ports of Los Angeles
and Long Beach said they were fired by a Compton trucking company this
week after refusing to withdraw their wage claims against the company.
least 33 truck drivers alleged that they were let go by Total
Transportation Services Inc. (TTSI) after they participated in strikes
and declined to drop their wage claims with the California Division of
Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE).
A TTSI representative refuted the drivers’ claims, saying the company did not fire or terminate anyone.
“Some owner operators decided not to renew their contracts with
the company and those contracts have now expired,” said Alex Cherin, a
representative for the company. “A vast majority of the owner operators —
including some with pending claims — chose to renew their agreements
Of the 33 drivers who say they were let go, at least
29 have pending DLSE claims totaling roughly $4.8 million in back pay
and damages. The other four drivers were each awarded on average $68,211
in back pay last week after the DLSE ruled that the company
misclassified employees as “independent contractors.”
Drivers said when they met with TTSI on Sept. 2, they were told
at first that they did not have to drop their wage claims. Some were
allowed to sign new lease agreements and returned to work.
But not all drivers received the same deal.
we were waiting, the company changed their mind and told us that if we
didn’t withdraw our DLSE claims we would not be allowed to sign the new
contract,” Elmer Chacon, one of the drivers let go, said in a statement.
“The drivers that did sign the new contracts and were back at work were
sent a message on the QUALCOMM saying that they should return to TTSI
and they are ‘out of service.’”