Union Disputes and Labor Practices: A Deep Dive into the Logistics Industry

Union Disputes and Labor Practices: A Deep Dive into the Logistics Industry

The relationship between Werner Enterprises and the newly elected union is off to a rough start.

Local 152 of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), which was recently chosen to represent 26 workers at three sites of Werner company ECM Transport, sent a claim of unfair labor practice to the National Labor Relations Board on Wednesday.

One of our sources got a copy of the charging letter from the union, but the facts of the charge are not available on the NLRB website without a Freedom of Information Act request.

Even though the UFCW’s complaints were short, the fact that they were sent less than two weeks after the union win on August 24 may be important. That could hurt the union’s chances of making a deal with ECM/Werner.

When employees at ECM elected to have the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) represent them, Werner established its first union.

Union Alleges Unfair Labor Practices at ECM Plant in New Jersey

The UFCW letter says that workers who backed the union lost their normal jobs and had their hours cut. The UFCW stated that the failure to engage with the union on the changes is considered a failure to bargain, according to a section of the National Labor Relations Act.

Mike Thompson, the vice president of the union and head of organizing, said that the problems had only happened at the ECM plant in Cinnaminson, New Jersey. New Jersey workers from Cinnaminson, Hamilton, and Piscataway all voted for unionization.

Thompson stated in an email to a freight press report website that since the election, drivers have been sent home or instructed to stay home. The company has stated that they are losing customers and attributing it to the holiday season. It would affect other terminals if that were the case, but it hasn’t.

Discrepancies in Work Distribution Post-Unionization: Claims and Counterclaims at ECM

According to Thompson, drivers on site have the ability to observe loads in other yards that are typically assigned to them. Additionally, drivers across different facilities have noticed that there is a significant amount of work at facilities that have not yet joined the union. The company’s punishment of them for exercising their rights is a matter we hope the labor board will address.

Werner expressed in a comment emailed to the freight press report website that it is unfortunate the union filed a ULP. The charge is without merit. We will comply with our legal obligations.

Unionization in Regional Truckload Carriers: A Case Study of ECM

Werner bought the regional freight company ECM in July 2021. Werner’s CEO, Derek Leathers, went to New Jersey to talk to workers who wanted to join the United Food and Commercial Employees union. 

Since ECM is a regional truckload carrier, its workers may join a union since they are based out of a single site, just like those at a less-than-truckload (LTL) company. People often think that it is hard, if not impossible, for over-the-road freight drivers to form a union.

Contact Lading Logistics for comprehensive logistics solutions.

Overall, a newly formed union at Werner subsidiary ECM Transport in New Jersey filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board. 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:

  • Freight forwarding
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By leveraging their expertise and resources, Lading Logistics aims to provide efficient and reliable international shipping and logistics solutions for their clients.