kscarbel2

Labor violations force truckers into life of servitude

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PBS NewsHour  /  June 17, 2017

An investigative report released Friday by USA Today, exposes a truck driving industry rife with labor violations, forcing truckers into working conditions akin to indentured servitude. Brett Murphy, the article’s author, joins Hari Sreenivasan from Naples, Florida to discuss his findings.

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I read the article. Very disturbing and it shows that some folks have absolutely no moral compass.

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Anyone old enough to remember Midwestern Distribution out of Ft Scott Kansas? Or North Americans new products div? Both examples of the "lease purchase" rip off where the same tractor gets sold over and over and few "contractors" ever end up owning their tractor!

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I talked to a driver many years ago who had a "lease purchase" agreement with Midwestern Distribution, a division of massive Leaseway Corp. He was within something like 1000.00 of paying off his truck, a Freightliner Cabover, and he parked it at their terminal!  He took a couple days off and they did an " in frame" on his engine, and he now owed an extra 1500. Or so it was the late 70s! The company goal was to make sure the "contractor" never paid off the truck! The way they did this was insidious!, there was a clause that if you  missed a payment the truck was repossessed! When you leased on they ran your a.. off insuring that you were happy and thought they were the greatest company in the world! They forced you to have your truck maintained at their facilities where you were overcharged and you began to get farther and farther in debt they gradually reduced your miles until you couldn't pay your household expenses and you had to choose between feeding your family or making the truck payment! You weren't allowed to trip lease or seek freight other than theirs! Without freight you couldn't get an advance for fuel, some guys got stuck out on the road and just abandoned the truck which was repossessed,and resold to another hapless individual! They charged a new contractor 5000.down on his truck cash! You see how the profits add up?  Every truck expense was advanced to the contractor and "padded" to more than they would pay elsewhere! They even assigned the truck lessee a co driver that he had to pay out of his percentage! He had to accept the co driver who was a "rookie" just out of driving school, on "his" truck!  A good friend of mine knew a guy that was with Midwestern, and his co driver tore the mirror off his truck(imagine what they charged him to repair that)! He left the guy at a t.s.! The guy I mentioned earlier whose engine they rebuilt was a real hard nosed experienced driver from S.Jersey and he actually managed to pay off his truck! One of the few! 

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The main business at Midwestern Distribution was selling trucks, not hauling freight, the profits from the freight were just icing on the cake! North American New Products had the same business model, but they hauled lightweight products like blanket wrap furniture and appliances like washers and dryers. They sold mostly single axle tractors Astros and Freightliner cabovers!  They were sued for millions of dollars by the federal government for their misleading brochures, which made driving for them look like a vacation! I had one of their promotional brochures where they showed drivers skiing at Vail and visiting the Grand canyon etc! What a krock of s..t!

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