Truckers turned away from relief work in Baton Rouge

| 9/15/2005

More than 100 truckers were sent away from a FEMA site in Baton Rouge, LA, after being told they would not be allowed to work.

The Advocate in Baton Rouge reported that the truckers were working for Victory 1 Trucking, a company based in Baton Rouge, and had contracts to haul travel trailers that will be used for housing evacuees from Hurricane Katrina.

But when they arrived at the site Wednesday, Sept. 14, they were turned away by Baton Rouge police, who said they would be arrested if they did not cooperate. The drivers were told that Victory 1's contract had been pulled because of some license issues.

Victory 1 received a subcontract from Fluor Corp., a California-based company that has a contract with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to head the Housing Area Command portion of the recovery effort.

The Advocate reported that Fluor had pulled the contract because many of the drivers hired by Victory 1 do not have commercial driver's licenses.

Angela Elly, an attorney for Victory 1, said the company is working on the issue and expected to resolve it by Thursday, Sept. 15. She said the drivers will get paid for at least some of the time they spent waiting.

"This contract will go forward," she said. "We just need to work some of the kinks out. I still don't have all the specifics of what the problems are."