Friday, June 21, 2013

Woot! NY lawmakers vote to crack down on trucking co. cheats

Here's a real Teamster victory: Both chambers of the New York state Legislatures passed a bill today that cracks down on trucking companies that misclassify their employers. Bad actors like FedEx Ground would pay stiff fines for treating their employees as contractors.

Great work, Joint Council 16!

The joint council's president, George Miranda, told Crain's New York Business:
This was a tough fight and it took us two years, but it was worth it in the end. We delivered better pay, better benefits and better working conditions for thousands of truckers, and that's how you spell victory when you're a Teamster.
The bill intends to correct the situation in New York where close to 30,000 truck drivers in New york are misclassified as independent contractors. That's $6.3 million in unpaid unemployment insurance taxes every year.

Crain's tells us:
...trucking companies suspect the Teamsters will try to organize them, perhaps with the bill as a selling point. The Teamsters said they were interested in the issue, in part, because companies that employ Teamsters in the air freight industry were having trouble competing with rivals such as UPS and FedEx that the union believed were misclassifying workers. 
The law would force companies to provide currently misclassified employees with benefits such as unemployment insurance and workers compensation, and would subject trucking companies that misclassify employees to penalties.
A similar bill passed the New Jersey Legislature and is sitting on Gov. Chris Christie's desk for his signature.  Let's hope both Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo sign these important pieces of legislation!