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Two Fired Port Truck Drivers Return to Work in Landmark Case

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Los Angeles/Long Beach Ports truck drivers Mateo Mares and Amicar Cardona have returned to the jobs they had been fired from– not as misclassified “independent contractors,” but as regular company employees covered by federal labor laws. The men were dismissed by Green Fleet Systems (GFS) last January for disputing their contractor status, for filing state claims for stolen wages and for their open support of the Teamsters union.

In October, after a federal district court had ruled in Mares and Cardona’s favor and ordered the two drivers reinstated, GFS sought an emergency injunction from the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit. The appeals court denied GFS’s request, setting the stage for Mares and Cardona’s triumphant return to work today.

“America’s port drivers are the poster child for wage theft in America,” said Jim Hoffa, Teamsters General President. “Like millions of workers, drivers are treated like regular employees but illegally compensated as independent contractors. The Teamsters are committed to working with drivers and their allies to stop wage theft in the port trucking industry. Justice for port drivers means justice for all American workers.”

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