Port of Savannah Drivers to Benefit
(PORT OF SAVANNAH, Ga.) – XPO Drayage, Inc., has reached a settlement agreement with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) over Unfair Labor Practice charges filed by Teamsters Local 728, Atlanta, following a widely-publicized incident, which was captured on police audio tape and subsequently shared on the Huffington Post, outside XPO’s Wentworth, Ga. facility. XPO, which has a long history of retaliation against its drivers for concerted union activity and for misclassifying its drayage and last mile drivers as “independent contractors” rendering them outside the protection of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), has signed an agreement in which the company agreed to post an official Board notice effectively stating that these misclassified drivers have the right to form a union and are protected under the NLRA.
“This is a great victory for XPO drivers at the Port of Savannah as XPO was forced to show drivers the truth for themselves – that they have the right to form a Union at their workplace if they so choose. We hope that XPO truly respects that right; however, their track record in Georgia and around the country is one of extreme hostility to workers who want to join together as a community to improve their working conditions,” said Fred Potter, Teamsters International Vice President and Director of the Teamsters Port Division. “With the support of XPO workers’ unions across Europe, and in coordination with XPO freight drivers and warehouse workers across America, we will continue to support XPO port and rail drivers’ fight for employee rights and the freedom to improve working conditions as a community until justice has been served for all!”
On June 10, 2016, Teamsters Local 728 Organizing Director Ben Speight and two other organizers attempted to handbill workers at XPO Logistics near Savannah. They were standing in a right-of-way of the two-lane road leading into and from the XPO Drayage trucking terminal. After approximately 45 minutes of peaceful handbilling, XPO management called the Wentworth Police and complained about their lawful activity. The Police then stopped the organizers from handbilling and issued them citations for engaging in legal, peaceful handbilling – all of which was caught on police video cam. The Teamsters filed an Unfair Labor Practice charge with NLRB Region 10 alleging that the police action, which was witnessed by several XPO employees, intimidated them and prevented them from exercising their Section 7 rights under the NLRA (the right to form a union).
On March 3, 2017, just a week after XPO Logistics CEO Bradley Jacobs declared publicly at the Journal of Commerce’s 17th annual TPM conference, “I don’t believe in the Teamsters,” XPO reached a settlement agreement with Georgia-based Teamsters Local 728. Specifically, XPO has agreed to post an official Board notice form in a prominent location where all employees in their Wentworth facility can easily see it. The sign states:
FEDERAL LAW GIVES EMPLOYEES THE RIGHT TO:
- Form, join, or assist a union;
- Choose a representative to bargain with us on employees’ behalf;
- Act together with other employees for your benefits and protection;
- Choose not to engage in any of these protected activities.
WE WILL NOT do anything to prevent employees from exercising the above rights.
WE WILL NOT call the police to seek the remove of union handbillers if they are engaged in lawful activities in lawful areas outside the gates of the facility on O’Leary Road.
WE WILL NOT in any like or related manner interfere with employees’ rights under Section 7 of the Act.
Port, freight and warehouse workers at XPO are coming together across the country in their fight for a more secure future.
For more information on the port truck drivers’ campaign, visit www.JusticeForPortDrivers.org.
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