Major Port of Los Angeles carrier investigated over labor complaints

By Charlie Morasch, Land Line contributing writer | 6/20/2014

A large drayage truck carrier is being investigated by the National Labor Relations Board for 50 potential labor violations concerning anti-union activity.

According to a news release from the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the NLRB’s Region 21 issued a consolidated complaint against Green Fleet Systems, a large drayage company operating at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, as well as the Port of Savannah, Ga.

The company is alleged to have taken several actions to quell union organization among drivers at Green Fleet Systems.

The complaint alleges the company terminated union activist employees Mateo Mares and Amilcar Cardona in retaliation for the employees’ union activities. The NLRB also alleges the company threatened to terminate employees for engaging in union activities, threatened to close down in the face of union activity, and threatened legal action against employees who engaged in union actions.

Some employees were allegedly interrogated in a back room in November 2013. In January 2014, the complaint says, employees were questioned about union “membership, activities and sympathies,” the complaint reads.

The complaint also says Green Fleet Systems coerced employees to sign anti-union petitions, encouraged and allowed non-union supporting employees to harass or assault pro-union employees, and threatened “that union supporters deserve to die.”

“Green Fleet Systems has done everything they can to stop their drivers from having a voice on the job, but the drivers stayed strong knowing the law was on their side,” said Eric Tate, secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 848, according to the release. “This is a big moment for Green Fleet drivers who are a leading example across the country that when drivers stick together, they can defend their rights and win justice at the workplace.”

In 2013, the Teamsters release says, the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement ordered GFS to pay $280,822 in back wages and penalties to four former company drivers who had been misclassified as independent contractors.

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