NFI/California Cartage Express drivers ON STRIKE to demand an end to unfair and illegal discrimination for aspiring to form a union at their company; picket lines to extend from Port of Los Angeles to the Mojave Desert

California Port Strike Continues as Judge Rules That NFI/Cal Cartage Company Violated National Labor Relations Act; Actions Spread to Salt Lake City, Utah
NFI/California Cartage Express drivers in California continue STRIKE to demand an end to unfair and illegal discrimination for aspiring to form a union at their company
Picket lines to extend from Port of Los Angeles to the Mojave Desert As
Striking Drivers, Teamsters, Faith, and Community Leaders Gather at Rio Tinto to Inform Company of its Contractor’s Illegal Labor Practices
Port of Los Angeles, CA & Salt Lake City, UT– After a day of heavy picketing that caused significant disruptions in operations, truck drivers who haul heavy loads of boron – a mineral mined 300 miles east of Los Angeles that is a critical component in every day consumer products from flatscreen TVs to smartphones – from the Rio Tinto mine in Boron, CA, to America’s largest port complex, are continuing to protest their employer’s persistent unfair labor practicesby going on strike at the Port of Los Angeles.
With the support of the Teamsters Port Division and Teamsters Local 848, drivers walked off the job early Monday morning to protest unfair and illegal discrimination for aspiring to form a union at their employer, NFI/California Cartage Express (CCX). As picketing continues in California, a delegation of port truck drivers, along with community, labor and faith-based allies from Utah and Los Angeles, will gather at Rio Tinto’s U.S. headquarters and the Rio Tinto Kennecott mine near Salt Lake City. The group will educate the Rio Tinto workforce about the illegal working conditions in Rio Tinto’s California supply chain, and deliver a petition to Rio Tinto’s executive leadership at the company’s South Jordan office urging the global mining company to abide by its own supplier code of conduct.
Shortly after the strike began in Los Angeles, an Administrative Law Judge for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that owners and managers of California Cartage Warehouse – a sister company of California Cartage Express that is also owned by NFI – are guilty of Unfair Labor Practices, including:
  • Unlawfully maintaining a rule that was enforced to prohibit employees from engaging in union discussions.
  • Unlawfully threatening hundreds of employees with plant closure and/or relocation or sale of the business during a captive audience meeting in the days before the union election; and
  • Unlawfully threatening to call the police on an employee who was discussing the company’s discriminatory practices with other employees.
The Judge ordered NFI to mail a notice to all current and former employees detailing its Violations of the National Labor Relations Act and Committing to Cease and Desist from those Violations.
“I am here to call on Rio Tinto to be fair to all of the workers, regardless of whether they work directly for the company or as a supplier. If you want to do business in America then you must comply with the laws of the land and give workers their fair share.,” said Nelson L. Castorillo, Senior Pastor, First United Methodist Church of Wilmington, CA “I am here in Salt Lake City to bring justice to these workers and to demonstrate God’s love because God is always on the side of the marginalized.”
NFI/Cal Cartage Express employs their drivers under an illegal scheme whereby they misclassify the workers as independent contractors when in fact they are employees under law.  This unlawful practice, which was the subject of an investigative series published by USA Today, leads to massive wage theft and denial of other basic workers’ rights and has been heavily documented across the ports. This illegal practice, in addition to other lawbreaking at NFI Industries, makes NFI/California Cartage Express non-compliant with Rio Tinto’s code of conduct.
Read the NFI Final and Pending Violations Summary here:
These drivers, whom the company treats like employees but illegally classifies as “independent contractors,” have persistently fought for their rights in the courts, in the hallowed boardrooms of Rio Tinto Mines, and on the picket line at the ports. Specifically, CCX drivers have:
  • Gone on strike four times in the last several years (this is CCX drivers’ 5thstrike);
  • Traveled to the United Kingdom to speak with Rio Tinto’s executives and shareholders to demand that the company enforce its Supplier Code of Conduct;
  • Filed at least 20 wage and hour claims with the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE);
  • Filed multiple lawsuits in courts and complaints with government agencies for violations of state and local laws; and
  • Filed complaints with the City of Los Angeles Office of Wage Standards for violating the City’s minimum wage and failure to provide paid sick days.
PRESS ADVISORY FOR: Tuesday, September 10, 2019
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