Friday, November 7, 2014

Victory for 2 misclassified port drivers who return to work as employees!

A court ordered two fired port drivers to return to work today at Green Fleet Systems in Carson, Calif. The drivers, fired for challenging their misclassification as independent contractors, returned to work as employees.

A federal judge had issued a temporary injunction returning Mateo Mares and Amilcar Cardona to work. The company tried to stop the injunction, but the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the company's request.

Mares and Cardona were fired because they challenged their misclassification, filed claims for stolen wages with the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) and publicly supported the Teamsters union.
Port drivers celebrate return of Mateo Mares and Amilcar Cardona this morning.
The Teamsters are supporting port drivers throughout the United States in their quest to increase their wages, improve their working conditions and raise their standard of living. Like low-wage workers in the retail and fast food industries, port drivers are resorting to short, sudden strikes to win sympathy for their cause. “We are on the front lines of the fight,” Mares said.

Jim Hoffa, Teamsters general president, said in a statement,
America’s port drivers are the poster child for wage theft in America. Like millions of workers, drivers are treated like regular employees but illegally compensated as independent contractors. The Teamsters are committed to working with drivers and their allies to stop wage theft in the port trucking industry. Justice for port drivers means justice for all American workers.
Mares added:
This ruling is a great victory not just for me, Amilcar, and our families, but for all drivers at Green Fleet Systems who have been too fearful to openly support our effort to become Teamsters, and for misclassified workers across America. Although the fight was long, justice has finally been served. The law is on our side and we all have rights as employees to form our union.
Julie Gutman Dickinson, the attorney representing the drivers, said the court's decision sends a message to the trucking industry and to all employers who try to pass off regular employees as independent contractors. That message:
They are in fact employees that are entitled to choose union representation and cannot be fired for their union activities or for filing claims for wage theft. 
 Congratulations, brothers!