Striking Los Angeles port truck drivers, including drivers who were allegedly illegally fired after voting to join the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, organized a picket line outside of Universal Logistics Holdings’ (ULH) Southern Counties Express trucking yard in Compton, Calif., on Monday morning.
Drivers are demanding that a family of trucking companies owned by Universal Logistics Holdings (ULH) and operating at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach follow the law, reinstate what they claim are illegally fired drivers with back pay, respect drivers’ right to form a union, bargain in good faith for a collective-bargaining agreement and cease misclassifying drivers as independent contractors.
Universal Logistics Holdings is a multi-billion-dollar logistics company whose subsidiaries serve major retailers and companies in the area, including Ross, Walmart and Toyota, the Teamsters said.
The drivers’ unfair labor practice strike comes a few weeks after the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a complaint against numerous ULH-affiliated companies, including Southern Counties Express and Universal Intermodal Services, finding more than 20 egregious violations of federal labor law.
The NLRB complaint alleges that ULH/Universal Intermodal Services violated the law by terminating its workforce of unionized drivers shortly following their union election victory in December 2019, as well as by failing and refusing to bargain in good faith for a contract. The company then unlawfully transferred work from a recently unionized facility to ULH/Southern Counties Express, the complaint alleges.
The NLRB also alleged other violations of federal labor law, including suspending and terminating two lead union supporters in retaliation for their union activity shortly after they began exercising their rights to organize a union; terminating or laying off all Roadrunner company drivers in retaliation for and to prevent union activity, and Universal Truckload company drivers in retaliation for and to prevent union activity.
In addition, the NLRB said the company reduced drivers’ hours and pay after their union election in retaliation for their union activity and without bargaining with the union, and a failure and refusal to bargain with the union for a first contract and over a multitude of mandatory subjects of bargaining.
Region 21 of the NLRB is also investigating unfair labor practice charges recently filed by the Teamsters against ULH/Container Connection for allegedly misclassifying workers as independent contractors and is part of the same ULH single integrated enterprise as Universal Intermodal Services and Southern Counties Express.
The NLRB’s complaint sets a trial date of June 14 for charged violations of federal labor law.
Universal Logistics Holdings did not respond to a request for comment from Sourcing Journal.