Don't Drink the Tea. Think With the WE.
Jul
2016
20

Leaflet My People Go: Teamsters Arrested in GA for Distributing Info About XPO Logistics Misclassification

The Teamsters campaign against XPO Logistics has a broad reach

The Teamsters campaign against XPO Logistics has a broad reach


submit to reddit  

Three union organizers were ticketed by police last month for leafletting in the city of Port Wentworth, Georgia. Ben Speight and two of his fellow Teamsters brothers stood outside the gates of XPO Logistics — a recent foe of the union — in orange blaze safety vests. They were handing out flyers to truckers exiting the facility as part of a national campaign to expose XPO’s employee misclassification practices. Because the organizers were standing on a public right of way and not on company property, this should have been perfectly legal. XPO called the police anyway:

The police said they were impeding the flow of traffic ― even though the public road dead ends at the company gates, and there was no traffic other than the occasional truck leaving the facility. The organizers only stepped into the road when a trucker waved them over to accept a leaflet, Speight said. 

“You might wanna consider doing something else,” one officer said, according to the bodycam video the Teamsters obtained through a public records request.

Speight asked where they could legally hand out flyers, but the officers seemed to prefer no flyers were handed out at all. After telling the Teamsters that “it ain’t like it was back in the 70s and 80s” and implying that they were fouling up the “fresh air,” the officers wrote up a citation.

This is no isolated incident. The state of Georgia is notoriously hostile toward union organizing, according to the Huffington Post:

Speight said the encounter epitomized what it’s like to do union organizing in union-unfriendly pockets of the South. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Georgia has the fourth lowest rate of union membership in the U.S., behind just North Carolina, South Carolina and Utah. Just 1 in 20 workers in the state is in a union.

Speight said the truck drivers were generally receptive to their message and cordial in their encounters with the organizers. But the citations by police, he said, would make drivers nervous about talking with union representatives in the future.

The Teamsters are now considering a lawsuit against the city of Port Wentworth for violating the First Amendment and the National Labor Relations Act.

advert

No Comments on “Leaflet My People Go: Teamsters Arrested in GA for Distributing Info About XPO Logistics Misclassification”

No one has commented on this entry yet.

Leave a Reply

*
To prove you're a person (not a spam script), type the security word shown in the picture. Click on the picture to hear an audio file of the word.
Anti-spam image