(Long Beach, Calif.) – More than 100 Teamsters and their allies held a raucous rally this morning outside a shipping conference to demand that the CEO of XPO Logistics, Bradley Jacobs, end his company’s abhorrent mistreatment of workers in the United States and across the globe.
Jacobs was delivering the keynote address at the 17th Annual TPM Conference while the rally was taking place.
“When we raised concerns with management we were ignored, so we decided to organize,” said Ryan Janota, a freight driver at XPO in Aurora, Ill., where workers joined the Teamsters last year. “Instead of respecting our rights, XPO spent a fortune on high-priced union-busting consultants to try and silence us. It didn’t work and we elected to join the Teamsters so Bradley Jacobs will have to listen!”
XPO freight and warehouse workers are demanding that the company respect their federally protected right to organize, and to stop threatening and intimidating workers, and to bargain contracts in good faith. XPO port and rail drivers are fighting company wage theft, which has led to numerous wage and hour claims, federal charges and protests across European and U.S. ports. Workers also want the company to address safety issues at its warehouses, and to stop misusing contingent workers rather than providing the full-time jobs our communities need, among other issues.
“Because XPO treats us like employees but pays us as ‘independent contractors’ and deducts their truck expenses from our paychecks, there are many weeks when we don’t even earn the minimum wage,” said Luis Meza, an XPO port driver serving the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. “This is abuse and that’s why my co-workers and I have filed lawsuits against XPO.”
Jacobs refused to meet with workers yet again—he has ignored the workers repeatedly.
“Mr. Jacobs didn’t meet with us today, but I know that the Teamsters will keep standing with us, fighting for all XPO workers,” said Jose Ramirez, a freight driver from Aurora. “Our fight for justice continues.”
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.