On the heels of XPO Logistics’ shareholder meetings in Rye, N.Y. and Lyon, France in May, XPO’s CEO Bradley Jacobs received a total compensation of $13 million in 2018. In the same breath Jacobs was awarded millions, he and his Board of Directors continued to ignore and deny workers’ claims of abuse and discrimination at the hands of XPO management.
Though the actions by Jacobs and his Board of Directors came as no surprise to XPO’s workers, it did ignite a fire inside of them to take action.
Fed up with XPO’s systemic abuse and anti-union tactics, and with the support of the Teamsters and other international unions, XPO workers from across the nation united together in a global day of action.
The action began well before sunrise where over a dozen workers walked off the job and onto the picket line at an XPO Logistics warehouse in North Haven, Conn., after a number of workers filed multiple unfair labor practice (ULPs) complaints.
“XPO continues to treat my coworkers and me with complete disrespect and that’s led us to walk out, raise our voices and say enough is enough,” said John Tullock, an XPO striker from North Haven. “We will continue to stand up to XPO until our concerns are addressed and company executives stop abusing our rights.”
While the workers in North Haven formed a picket line outside the warehouse, Teamster members fought side-by-side with XPO truck drivers, warehouse workers and intermodal drivers throughout the United States protesting and leafleting at hundreds of company facilities to show that the Teamsters and workers are united in standing up for fair pay, benefits and better working conditions.
“XPO truck drivers work long, grueling hours contributing to Bradley Jacobs’s multi-million dollar paychecks, and in return all we get from XPO is a refusal to treat workers fairly, which is why we decided to join together and form a union,” said Mickey Young, an XPO driver from Aurora, Ill. “XPO workers around the globe are more united than ever, and executives need to open their eyes and improve working conditions and business practices before worker instability only worsens and more customers leave for more reliable business partners.”
“XPO makes us feel like we don’t exist, and we are just company property,” said Jose ‘Chema’ Rodriguez, an XPO driver from San Diego. “As someone who drives from Tijuana, Mexico to San Diego every single day to work more than 12 hours, it’s ludicrous that I’m still unable to afford to live in the United States because of the compensation and benefits XPO has denied me by misclassifying me as an independent contractor. XPO executives claim we want to remain as independent contractors, but they aren’t the ones struggling to make ends meet.”
As XPO workers in the United States kicked off their day of actions, XPO workers and unions in the United Kingdom, France, Spain and Belgium were hours into their day of action showing solidarity through photos, videos, and letters to XPO demanding the company stop breaking the law and start treating workers with dignity and respect.
XPO workers in those countries are facing issues related to the company improperly calculating overtime pay, withholding pension payments and delaying paychecks.
Workers protested alongside international union leaders at XPO company offices and warehouses to sound the alarm on XPO’s record of violating workers’ rights across the globe.
“The issues at XPO Logistics are not contained to one warehouse, one city or even one country but are rather institutional problems that reach across the world and across XPO’s supply chain,” said Thierry Mayer, an XPO driver and member of the General Confederation of Labour (CGT) Union and member of the European Works Council (EWC) from France.
“We are struggling in France to receive the overtime pay owed to us by XPO and concerned about issues with pensions, misclassification and working conditions we hear from our co-workers around the world,” Mayer said. “We are tired of fighting XPO for rights and benefits that are legally given to us as employees and we will continue to speak up until these issues are resolved.”
End Worker Abuse
The day of action also prompted members of Congress to join the workers on the picket line, including Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro who represents Connecticut’s Third District, where XPO’s North Haven warehouse facility resides. Rep. DeLauro spoke out against the company’s illegal actions and voiced her support for the workers in their fight for fair treatment.
“Do not let these naysayers get in your way and deter you from what your tasks are. You have a right to be part of the decisions that affect your life and the lives of your families,” Rep. DeLauro said. “You have the right to affordable health care, you have the right to retirement security, and most of all you have the right to get respect for what you do.”
The global day of action is proof that the Teamsters and international unions around the world are united with XPO workers in the fight to end worker abuse and to ensure that every worker is treated with respect, has access to affordable health care, is paid a fair wage and their retirement is secure.