Days before Christmas, Universal Logistics lays off 70 Port drivers
Story by: Linda Baker, Staff Writer @ FreightWaves.com
Citing a weak freight market, logistics company Universal Logistics Holdings (NASDAQ: ULH) has laid off up to 70 employee port and intermodal drivers at three subsidiaries – Universal Intermodal Services, Universal Truckload Services and Roadrunner Intermodal Services.
The layoffs, which occurred last week, have impacted employees working at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. They took place less than one month after 28 employee drivers at Universal Intermodal voted to join Long Beach-based Teamsters Local 848.
All of those drivers have now been laid off.
Several drivers have claimed they were told they could come back to work as independent contractors if they purchased their own trucks. Desmond Gibson, one of the former Roadrunner drivers, told FreightWaves he was called into the Fontana, California, facility on Dec. 18 along with at least five other drivers. The operations manager handed the drivers a letter and told them that “he was sorry,” Gibson said.
“He said, ‘If you ever got your own truck, we’d be more than glad to work with you. But with the reduction of freight, we decided to cut out the company driver,’” Gibson said.
According to a copy of the letter obtained by FreightWaves, Roadrunner Intermodal told drivers that “soft freight conditions in 2019 have necessitated that we evaluate our current staffing levels” heading into 2020. “As a result, with much consideration, we regret to inform you that Roadrunner Intermodal Services is reducing all company driver positions effective Friday, Dec. 20, 2019.”
Tim Phillips, Universal’s executive vice president and chief operating officer of transportation, said in an email to FreightWaves that “given the dynamic nature of the transportation industry, our companies continue to make strategic business decisions – some growth-related and some efficiency-related – as part of marketplace fluctuations.”
He said that as a result, “we have also streamlined some of our operations.”
Roadrunner Intermodal drivers received a letter on Dec. 18 notifying them of layoffs at the Fontana and Wilmington,
Read the full story HERE @ freightwaves.com
Source and credits: freightwaves.com / Linda Baker / iTrucker / Mario Pawlowski