Trucking company fires worker who spoke to reporter about working conditions, takes truck and $60,000 from him


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/07/11/indentured-servitude.html


#2

Looking forward to this rebounding upon the trucking company as the mother of all negative PR shitstorms.

Maybe some agency that promotes workers rights, or highway safety will be able to offer some consulting work to the (former) driver.


#3

Be nice, but I’m not holding out hope. This country is in the grip of people who think that the South before the Civil War had the right idea and have no issues going back to that.


#4

Had this driver but known, he could have moved to another state where his old truck would have been just fine.


#5

(or sometimes even pay for the privilege of working).

I saw this practiced to perfection when I was a mariner. The officers of the ship would often pick up sailors stranded in far flung places over the globe, they worked for food & lodging to get their asses out where they were. It was pitiful to watch.


#6

Smells like lawsuit spirit


#7

The US is a company town.


#8

So I presume the trucker gave permission to USA Today to publish his name. But was it ethical for the newspaper to do so? They could have or should have known this was possible, after all they were writing a story on abuses of the trucking industry.

Is “first do no harm” a journalistic standard? The newspaper kinda ruined this guy’s life. It seems like they could have seen that coming.


#9

It’s still true.


#10

Jesus, the gross injustice of it all. But I can’t help but be particularly struck by:
"Flores helped flesh out the story of how trucking companies facilitate grossly unfair loans for drivers to use in order to buy their trucks… then cancel the loans and confiscate all their payments if the trucker is fired"
It amounts to a loan company having the ability to not just give a loan on unfair conditions, but with the ability to arbitrarily cancel the loan and keep the truck, too. It’s grotesque and predatory on so many levels…


#11

I’m not going to hold my breath. The only people who could really hold their feet to the fire are their customers. And their customers are complicit in the terrible state of the trucking industry.


#12

I can’t see how a lawsuit would go very far. The company will simply claim that they fired him due to his criminal activities (second log book). The fact that they pushed so hard as to encourage the second log book won’t be much of an excuse.


#13

This seems more like whistleblowing to me, and as such he’s protected from being fired. A lawsuit to get lost wages, and the 60k in payments seems reasonable


#14

And I’m sure he’s going to trot right out and hire the very best attorney.


#15

There needs to be 2 patreon accounts, an account to set this guy up and another one to take his former employer down.


#16

As a Canadian, please forgive my poor knowledge of American history, but weren’t the significant gains won by unionization the direct result of years of organization by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters before/during/after the Great Depression? Could this signal a return to the need for those collective efforts?


#17

In ‘Murica, if’n you belong to a union, you’re one a’ them people who hates freedom and stuff, because unions only protect goldbrickers and steal the working man’s wages for… reasons. At least that’s the current popular narrative, nevermind that this sort of shit is why unions were organized to start with. Another problem is that sometimes it looks like the unions are there to perpetuate themselves, rather than protect their members. It gets gray in a hurry.


#18

It would be except these truckers aren’t employees, they’re “independent contractors”. That complicates things enough we probably need a lawyer specializing in labor law to explain whether this group could form a union to collectively organize. On top of that, I wonder if these people are correctly classified in the first place. I also wonder what the contract says in terms of delivery times/hours.

Shitty situation regardless. Basically it sounds like the math doesn’t work out if one were to only drive the proscribed hours.


#19

Shit like this is why we can’t have a nice society…


#20

In his case? It’s likely, but he’s out a lot of money either way.