News

Striking CA Truckers Who Baul Borax Arrive at Rio Tinto’s Headquarters in Utah

PRESS ADVISORY FOR: Tuesday, September 10, 2019

PRESS CONTACTS:

As disruptive strike continues at America’s largest seaport and Rio Tinto Boron Mine…

NFI/California Cartage Express Drivers, Teamsters, Faith and Community Leaders Gather at Rio Tinto to Inform Company of its Contractor’s Illegal Labor Practices  

(SALT LAKE CITY, Utah) – 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 on Tues., Sept. 10. 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.

A series of actions began early Monday morning when port 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 flat screen TVs to smartphones – from the Rio Tinto mine in Boron, CA, to America’s largest port complex, once again protested their employer’s persistent unfair labor practices by 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 at 7:30 a.m. PDT to protest unfair and illegal discrimination for aspiring to form a union at their employer, NFI/California Cartage Express (CCX).

WHO: NFI/California Cartage Express (CCE) drivers whom the company misclassifies as “independent contractors,” community and faith-based supporters, and Teamster leaders, including:

  • Tom Goldsmith, Senior Minister, First Unitarian Church of Salt Lake City
  • Spencer Hogue, Secretary-Treasurer, Teamsters Local 222
  • Nelson L. Castorillo, Senior Pastor, First United Methodist Church of Wilmington, CA
  • Paul M. Neuman, Co-Founder, East Area Progressive Democratic Club and Chair of the 43rdAssembly District of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, representing the Our People Our Port coalition
  • Jesus Maldonado and Flavio Acosta, striking NFI/California Cartage Express drivers

WHAT: Delegation to Rio Tinto headquarters and Rio Tinto Kennecott mine concurrent with an unfair Labor Practice (ULP) strike at NFI/California Cartage Express, with ambulatory picketing at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, Rio Tinto Mines in Boron, CA, and other customer locations to be announced.

WHERE: Rio Tinto Kennecott, 4700 Daybreak Parkway, South Jordan, Utah 84095

  • Rio Tinto Headquarters
  • Rio Tinto Kennecott Mine

WHEN:Starting Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019, starting at 7:00 am MST

“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.

BACKGROUND

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: http://bit.ly/NFICCX

Read an up-to-date Overview of port trucking misclassification cases here: http://bit.ly/Justice4Drivers

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.

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