Truck drivers employed by Australia-based Toll Group at the company’s New Jersey division voted by a margin of nearly 70% to form a union and affiliate with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local 469.
The new bargaining unit represents 112 truck drivers, including local drivers that service the Ports of New York and New Jersey, hostlers who move trailers within the Toll yard, and long-haul drivers.
The Teamsters say the Toll Group, which is unionized in Australia, as well as at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach hired a “union buster” to try to block unionization. Drivers filed charges with the U.S. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) charging the company used tactics that included surveillance, coercion, and making threats in an attempt to block the union move. Those charges are under investigation by the Labor Board at this time, the Teamsters said in a press release.
“Port trucking is the broken link in our nation’s logistics supply chain,” said James P. Hoffa, general president, International Brotherhood of Teamsters. “The vast majority of these trucks are unsafe and these dirty diesel rigs spew malignant fumes into harbor communities day in and day out. The men and women who own (or lease) these trucks live and work in third world conditions along our nation’s shores. The industry’s war on workers must stop. Every one of these drivers should have the same opportunity as Toll Group drivers: the ability to be classified as an employee and to form a union.”