(WASHINGTON) – Workers at a XPO Logistics warehouse in North Haven, Connecticut, walked off the job early Thursday over the logistics giant’s unfair labor practices. The workers are seeking to end the illegal abuses and manipulation from XPO. The facility’s exclusive customer is aircraft manufacturer Sikorsky Aircraft.
While the workers formed a picket line outside the warehouse before sunrise, other XPO truck drivers, warehouse workers and intermodal drivers throughout the United States began a day of protests and informational leaflets at hundreds of company facilities to show that workers are united in standing up for fair pay, benefits and better working conditions. In the United Kingdom, France, Spain and Belgium, European XPO workers and international union leaders were already hours into protesting at company offices and warehouses to sound the alarm on XPO’s record of violating workers’ rights across the globe.
The wave of actions comes as worker unrest grows over XPO’s abusive treatment of employees and as investor and corporate customer confidence dwindles in XPO’s stability as a business. The company is facing the recent loss of major customers including Amazon and Cummins, declining stock prices and growing shareholder concerns over corporate governance structures and ballooning executive compensation. The company has also been under fire for its abusive treatment of its warehouse workers, freight drivers and truck drivers working at U.S. ports across the country and throughout the world.
“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, Conn. “We will continue to stand up to XPO until our concerns are addressed and company executives stop abusing our rights.”
XPO drivers are engaging their coworkers and practice picketing about XPO’s abusive practices at facilities in Miami; King of Prussia, Pa.; Cinnaminson and Trenton, N.J.; Aurora, Ill.; and Laredo, Texas; cities where workers have voted to join the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) but have been met with stonewalling tactics and a general unwillingness to negotiate a contract by the company. Port truck drivers in San Diego, Compton and Commerce, Calif., who have dealt with issues of misclassification and poverty wages will rally in the three cities. XPO will be the topic around the globe as workers show solidarity with the U.S. workforce and protest XPO’s abuses through numerous actions worldwide. Additionally, Teamsters members are distributing leaflets to workers at XPO facilities nationwide.
“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.”
XPO workers in the United Kingdom, France, Spain and Belgium are facing issues related to the company improperly calculating overtime pay, withholding pension payments and delaying paychecks.
“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 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 coworkers around the world. 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.”