TEAMSTER Action

December 2014 / January 2015
Newsletter Volume 59, Number 5

NEWS

Taylor Farms workers
celebrate Temp Worker bill

On October 30, Taylor Farms workers seeking to be represented by Teamsters Local 601 had a special event to celebrate the passage of AB1897—the Temp Worker Bill. This important law ensures that temp workers have all legal protections they are due, and that the temp agency and the primary employer cannot shirk their responsibilities.

The workers were joined by the bill’s author, Assemblymember Roger Hernandez, Joint Council 7 President Rome Aloise and California Labor Federation leader Art Pulaski (all holding the signed bill.) Local 601 Secretary-Treasurer Ashley Alvarado opened the evening and welcomed the group.

Several workers received awards for all their hard work, but special recognition was paid to organizing committee members Carlos Padilla, and Jesus Herrera.

Court upholds Oakland truckers’
meals and breaks

A state appeals court has upheld nearly $1 million in damages to a group of 73 past and present port truckers in Oakland who work for AB Trucking. The court found that the company illegally discouraged meal and rest breaks, deducted an hour’s pay from each driver’s daily shift and treated some drivers as unpaid trainees.

The First District Court of Appeal also said California’s wage protections do not violate a 1994 federal deregulation law, which prohibited state laws “related to a price, route or service” of truckers in interstate commerce. The court ruled that California’s laws regulating wages and working conditions apply equally to other businesses and have only an indirect effect, at most, on trucking companies’ prices and services.

The two rulings have established that “meal and rest breaks for truck drivers are protected under California law, and federal law does not interfere with that,” said Theodore Franklin, a lawyer for the drivers.

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Robert Freedman had ruled in May 2013 that the company had violated state laws that require employers to provide rest and meal breaks during work shifts. Freedman found that AB Trucking, by its work schedules and verbal reprimands, discouraged drivers from taking those breaks, and told them to eat while waiting in line with their trucks to enter the port.

He said the company took away an hour’s pay from drivers every day on the assumption that they were taking an hour for breaks. The judge also said the company wrongly classified some of its drivers as trainees and did not pay them. The appeals court upheld Freedman’s findings.

“AB Trucking is owned by a politically connected guy named Bill Aboudi, who we have tangled with since the days of the Oakland Port campaign.,” says Joint Council 7 Political Coordinator Doug Bloch. “Not only will Aboudi finally be held accountable, more importantly, the State’s right to set meal and rest break standards for truck drivers is protected. This was a big win.”

NOTICE TO LOCAL 431 MEMBERS

In September 2013, the High Speed Rail Authority of the State of California acquired a small section of the real property of Teamsters Local 431 located at 1140 W. Olive Avenue, Fresno, California. This property was acquired for the high-speed train system and for public use in accordance with Public Utilities Code Section 185000 and Government Code Section 15853. In exchange, Teamsters Local 431 received fair market value for the parcel in question.

Pursuant to Article XII, Section A(9) of the Local Union Bylaws, a vote has been scheduled to take place at the regular membership meeting at 7:30 PM on December 11, 2014, at the Local Union Hall to ratify this transaction. All members in good standing are eligible to cast a ballot in this ratification vote.