Many labor experts are keeping an eye on a case between the Teamsters and a company that offers a wide range of organizational services. The case is about whether or not workers should be considered independent freelancers or employees.
William Cowen, the regional head of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), ruled on July 20 that STG Logistics workers at two sites in California are employees, not independent contractors, as the company has said.
It’s not strange if the story sounds like something you’ve heard in the news before. STG Logistics paid XPO $710 million to buy its intermodal business, and the NLRB decided last year that the workers there were employees, not independent contractors. Because of this choice, the Teamsters lost a vote on union representation.
NLRB Decision on STG Logistics: Unfair Labor Practices During Unionization Drive
In a recent decision, Cowen explained what happened before the unionization vote in March, which failed. According to the lawsuit, workers were “threatened with loss of benefits by being told that if they chose the union as their representative or for collective bargaining, STG would decide many things about their work, like schedules, cargo, and truck ownership.”
Cowen described the employer’s actions during the unionization drive last year as “unfair labor practices” after reviewing multiple other accounts. In addition, he stated that those actions have an impact on commerce as defined by two sections of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The NLRA serves as the governing legislation for the NLRB, thereby allowing for potential penalties associated with violations of the act.
According to Cowen, the suggested solution for addressing those actions is to reclassify drivers who have been misclassified as independent contractors as employees. Additionally, it is proposed that these drivers be compensated for any direct or foreseeable consequential or pecuniary harm they have suffered due to the misclassification and other unlawful conduct.
Cowen’s decision says that the Teamsters must be given access to “nonwork areas” at STG’s offices in Commerce, California, and San Diego. Cowen has set December 11 as the date for the trial in front of the whole NLRB.
A rep for STG said that the company would not say anything about the NLRB’s ruling.
Teamsters Celebrate the NLRB Decision: A Huge Deal for Workers’ Rights
Cowen’s order is seen as a big win by the Teamsters. It is especially beneficial if it means giving workers money. The decision could lead to fines for breaking the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Misclassifying workers is a violation of the NLRA. “A huge deal” seems to fit.
Workers at STG, the largest managed transport contracting company in North America, recently chose not to join the Teamsters. The Teamsters and other unions are interested in the topic because it affects their ability to unite independent workers.
Union Supporters Hope for the overturn of the Velox Express Decision and Increased unionization.
Union supporters believe this case may discourage labeling workers as independent contractors and encourage referring to them as employees, thus increasing the potential for unionization.
The Teamsters and their legal team hope the latest STG case overturns the 2019 NLRB decision called Velox Express, made during Trump’s presidency.
The National Labor Relations Board found that Velox misclassified its workers as independent contractors. They also found that Velox used an unfair labor practice when it fired an employee for taking part in a protected activity.
Contact Lading Logistics for comprehensive logistics solutions
Overall, this could have a positive impact on the logistics industry by setting a precedent for fair labor practices and greater unionization. Lading Logistics is dedicated to staying up-to-date with the latest developments in the trucking industry. They offer a wide range of services, including:
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By leveraging their expertise and resources, Lading Logistics aims to provide efficient and reliable logistics solutions for their clients.