“We’re on strike because of NFI/Cal Cartage Express’ unfair labor practices. Those of us who have been fighting for justice are only receiving one month contracts versus the six month contracts others not involved in this fight are receiving. We’re tired of being misclassified as independent contractors and working without the employee benefits and rights we deserve. We’re asking customers of NFI/Cal Cartage, like Rio Tinto, to stop doing business with law breakers,” said Jose Garcia, striking port truck driver, NFI/Cal Cartage Express.
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
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.