To consolidate, disseminate, and gather information concerning the 710 expansion into our San Rafael neighborhood and into our surrounding neighborhoods. If you have an item that you would like posted on this blog, please e-mail the item to Peggy Drouet at pdrouet@earthlink.net

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach truck drivers allegedly fired for striking, not withdrawing wage claims


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.

At 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 with TTSI.”

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.

“While 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.’”