Friday, March 30, 2018

Tesla closes multimillion-dollar Semi deal with FedEx

Contributing writer
Shipping giant FedEx Corp. this week agreed to buy 20 TeslaSemis, becoming the latest major corporation to place a preorder for the all-electric delivery truck.
Tesla's Semi trucks cost $190,000 to $257,000 each, depending on features, meaning the FedEx deal is likely worth between $3.8 million and $5.1 million.
“FedEx has a long history of innovation and incorporating sustainability efforts throughout its global network,” FedEx Freight CEO Mike Ducker said in a statement. “Our investment in these trucks is part of our commitment to improving road safety while also reducing our environmental impact.”
FedEx Freight focuses on less-than-truckload freight shipping. In 2016, FedEx deployed a little over 1,800 electric trucks worldwide, as part of a global fleet of some 2,700 alternative fuel vehicles.
The Tesla Semi isn’t scheduled to go into production until 2019. Early prototypes have been spotted in Silicon Valley and on Interstate 80, between Tesla’s battery factory in Reno and its car plant in Fremont. It’s about 260 miles between the two factories, up and and over the Sierras.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled the Semi in mid-November, promising that the truck’s batteries would have a 500-mile range before they needed to be recharged. Early customers will likely need to install high-capacity battery charging stations at their distribution facilities. Eventually, Tesla plans to build new “Megacharger” stations capable of charging a Semi up to a 400-mile range in 30 minutes.
Tesla hasn’t said how many Semi trucks it’s sold yet. Based on press releases from major companies like FedEx, Tesla has likely pre-sold well over 350 Semis to date.
Shortly after the truck was unveiled, UPS bought 125 trucks, Pepsi bought 100 trucks, Anheuser-Busch bought 40 trucks and Canadian grocery store chain Loblaw bought 25 trucks.
The truck is designed around autonomous driving, with a radically redesigned cabin for driver comfort. Eventually, Tesla believes its self-driving trucks will be able to draft off one another in a convoy, improving their range.

Friday, March 9, 2018

FedEx Employees Interested ...

FedEx Employees Interested in organizing or learning the importance of a Teamster contract. You are encouraged to attend.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Local 2010 Teamster Joins Fight Against ‘Janus’ Case

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Laurence Young believes strongly in the fight to ensure collective bargaining rights for public sector workers. So strongly, in fact, that he traveled cross country from his California home so he could be at the U.S. Supreme Court Monday when the court heard “Janus v. AFSCME,” a casethat threatens to undermine unions that represent public  employees across the U.S.
The University of California at Santa Barbara library employee, who is a business agent for Local 2010 at the campus, got into the court briefly to hear Justice Elena Kagan stand up in support of unions. Outside the high court, he said he was energized by the hundreds of pro-union demonstrators who were fighting back against the corporate-fueled agenda.
“I see this case as affecting unions nationwide, not just public sector unions, so I see this as an attack on working people across the country,” Young said. “You can get a sense of that from the backers of this case, the Koch Brothers, Americans for Prosperity, all of these right-to-work groups that are funding this case. Their issue is not about the public sector or even free speech. They want to destroy unions across the country.”
He added, “This is a key moment for labor in the United States, and I wanted to be here in the nation’s capital to hear it argued in the Supreme Court.”
But that’s not all he did as part of his trip. He also joined scores of fellow Teamsters and many others at the D.C. rally for the “Working People’s Day of Action,” part of a nationwide gatheringwhere workers came together to stick up for union power on the job. He said the event offered an opportunity to connect with his fellow union members.
“It was a tremendous moment, a great group of folks came out,” Young said. “We had some terrific speakers there. But more important than that was the chance to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with my union sisters and brothers from across the nation.”
The Teamsters are standing up against Janus because union jobs pave the way to a middle-class lifestyle. The median union worker makes more than $200 more a week than non-union workers. That's why the Teamsters stressed the need for more union jobs in its “Let's Get America Working” campaign that debuted in 2015. Workers earning more don’t just help their families; they help the economy at large as well because they spend more.
Though the Supreme Court Justices will ultimately have the final say in the Janusdecision, the Teamsters and working people across the country can be proactive by speaking about the benefits of a union, increasing membership and remaining unified. That way, over-compensated corporate executives who want total freedom to rewrite work rules to lower wages and eliminate benefits will realize that our collective voices cannot be silenced.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

NRA boycott: FedEx to keep its discount; 10 companies drop gun group

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FedEx is sticking with the National Rifle Association, even as other companies drop the organization in the wake of the deadly school shooting in Florida.
The shipping company said it will continue to offer discounts to NRA members and "has never set or changed rates for any of our millions of customers around the world in response to their politics, beliefs or positions on issues."
The Memphis, Tennessee-based company said, however, it's positions on gun policy and safety are different from those of the NRA.
"FedEx opposes assault rifles being in the hands of civilians. While we strongly support the constitutional right of U.S. citizens to own firearms subject to appropriate background checks, FedEx views assault rifles and large capacity magazines as an inherent potential danger to schools, workplaces, and communities when such weapons are misused," the company said in a statement.
FedEx's refusal to end its NRA discount led to the creation of the #BoycottFedEx hashtag on Twitter. Among those sharing the message was David Hogg, a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the site of the Feb. 14 attack that resulted in the deaths of 14 students and three teachers.
Other companies are severing their ties with the NRA, mostly through eliminating discounts offered to members. Those include:
Delta Air Lines
United Airlines
Enterprise Holdings
Avis and Budget
First National Bank of Omaha

XPO Logistics faces novel “repeat offender” class action law suit seeking to end systemic wage theft at US ports

Ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach, CA – On Monday morning, Feb. 26, 2018, attorneys Julie Gutman Dickinson and C. Joe Sayas, Jr.,filed a new class action lawsuit on behalf of Angel Omar Alvarez, Alberto Rivera and Fenando Ramirez, seeking to represent at least 160 XPO Logistics Cartage, LLC dba XPO Logistics (NYSE:XPO) port and rail drivers from Southern California. This , fi new class action lawsuit became necessary due to the company’s refusal to stop misclassifying its drivers as independent contractors in spite of consistent rulings by federal and state government agencies and courts that XPO is violating labor laws.
Regardless of whether XPO drivers lease a truck through  XPO’s “sweetheart” deal with Bush Leasing or another entity, or whether drivers already own their own truck (commonly referred to as “owner operators”), drivers are still treated as employees by the company because of the level of control that XPO exercises over the drivers. Drivers depend on XPO to provide work and must follow all of the company’s rules. In the end, XPO’s employment arrangement is designed to minimize its costs while maximizing its profits at the expense of its drivers.
“On behalf of exploited XPO Logistics drivers, we are seeking a permanent injunction to stop XPO Logistics from continued misclassification of its drivers.” Julie Gutman Dickinson said, “By continuing to flaunt labor law, XPO is a ‘recidivist’ violator that must be stopped.” 
“This class action lawsuit breaks new ground because it will not only help drivers who are being deprived of their employment rights and wages, but the business community by leveling the field for companies that abide by labor laws,” Joe Sayas, Jr.
“I have worked for XPO for more than 8 years and come from El Salvador,” said Angel Omar Alvarez, an XPO port and rail driver at its Commerce location. “I’m participating in this case because I am tired of XPO misclassifying us drivers as well as the company taking away our rights as employees and our wages. I don’t have any benefits and the company takes a lot of money out of my paycheck to pay for company expenses like insurance and diesel fuel. We even pay taxes on the money that the company takes out of our checks to pay for their expenses. I was part of one of the previous class action lawsuits, but I didn’t know I was part of it until I received a check. But the lawsuit didn’t fix anything at XPO. The company continues to take our money and misclassify us. Nothing changed with that settlement. We are filing this lawsuit because we want to stop misclassification.” 
“Even though I’m scared that I might lose my job, I’m tired of XPO misclassifying us. We are suffering because XPO is taking our money to pay for its own expenses,” said Alberto Rivera, an XPO port and rail driver at its San Diego location who has driver since 2016. “XPO already makes our life miserable and retaliates against us if we try to refuse a load. We pretty much have to do whatever the company tells us.”
With numerous decisions by federal and state government agencies and courts, XPO has been placed on notice of its labor law violations.
  • California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) has issued 16 decisions on behalf of XPO drivers who brought separate wage and hour claims awarding a total of nearly $4 million in back pay and penalties related to misclassification. To date, all of these decisions on appeal have also held that the XPO drivers are employees who have been misclassified as independent contractors.
  • The California Economic Development Department (EDD) has awarded at least five XPO drivers unemployment and disability benefits upon determining they were misclassified as independent contractors.
  • Region 21 of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in Los Angeles issued complaints against both XPO Port Services, Inc., (d/b/a XPO Logistics) and XPO Cartage after investigations into unfair labor practice charges filed by drivers. In doing so, the Region made a merit determination that the drivers were employees.
Instead of making changes to come into compliance with the law, XPO has continued to misclassify its drivers. 
The consequences for the truck drivers are severe. In addition to not receiving the legal minimum wage and having expenses illegally deducted from their paychecks, drivers have been deprived of their meal and rest breaks under California law. They have also been deprived of other protections such as workers compensation, which is very important because of the dangerous nature of being a truck driver.
C. Joe Sayas  and Julie Gutman Dickinson both have extensive experience and expertise in litigating misclassification and wage theft cases in a variety of forums, including winning permanent injunctive relief for drivers that stopped companies from misclassifying its drivers. (See. e.g. Taylor v Shippers Transport Express, 13-02092 (C.D. Cal. May 14, 2015).)
Background on XPO Logistics (NYSE:XPO)
XPO Logistics Cartage’s parent company – XPO Logistics – is a top ten global logistics company operating in 32 countries, with over 95,000 employees and 1,455 locations, and earning approximately $15 billion dollars per year. CEO and Chairman Bradley Jacobs has announced his intention to fund additional acquisitions of up to $9 billion in the coming months.
Summary of XPO Logistics Regulatory Action and Litigation
XPO Logistics Cartage, LLC dba XPO Logistics, (hereinafter called “XPO Cartage” ) is a Delaware company that maintains California offices and operations in Commerce and San Diego, CA.  XPO Logistics is a publicly traded, global company and one of the world’s ten largest providers of transportation and logistics services.  XPO Cartage primarily moves goods to and from rail yards to customers. There are over 160 misclassified drivers who own or lease trucks and who have worked for XPO Cartage in its Commerce and San Diego locations from April 30, 2016, to the present.

XPO Logistics Cartage is the successor company to XPO Cartage, Inc., which was formerly known as Pacer Cartage. XPO Port Services is also a subsidiary of XPO Logistics. XPO Cartage and XPO Port Services, Inc., d/b/a XPO Logistics, are together among the top trucking companies servicing the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. XPO Port Services specializes in moving goods to and from the ports, while XPO Cartage primarily moves goods to nearby intermodal rail yards. These various XPO entities have faced multiple legal and enforcement agency actions for alleged wage theft due to misclassification of their drivers as independent contractors, as outlined in the attached document