Walmart Truckers Score $100 Million Lost Wages Victory In Court

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Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Attila, you'd make a great headline writer but you sure aren't one for sticking to the facts or to what was said.

The mere thought of working 80 hrs a week and only getting paid for 40 would **** off every American except them poor hard working truckers

First of all they're not even being paid by the hour, they're being paid by the mile. So to imply they're only getting paid for half the work they do is baloney. They're making $80k-$100k per year which is double what the average driver is making for doing the same job. Don't make it sound like they're Third World children making a dollar a day working in a coal mine in their bare feet. They're paid well for the work they do whether the pay is broken down by the mile or by each individual task. In the end they're making excellent money for the job they do.

Your premise about unions destroying America is BS

I certainly never said Unions destroyed America. Another great headline by you but it doesn't even resemble what I said. I gave a simple example of a mistake that unions made. They pushed and pushed for more and more when they were already making way higher than market wage for what they were doing, had great benefits, great job security, and made far more than workers they were competing with. Instead of being happy making $29 an hour to do one simple task all day that should have paid about $8 per hour they had to keep pushing and keep striking. Now most of those jobs are gone. Simple facts. I never said anyone destroyed America.

The biguest problem I see with trucking from a truckers point of view is piece work pay

Well my dad worked in a steel mill for 18 years and was paid piece work and loved it. Why? Because he simply outworked almost anyone out there so he'd rather get paid for his actual productivity than by the hour. He's simply gonna get more done than most people so he should make more. Getting paid by the number of pieces he produced encouraged him to work harder and more efficiently which benefited him and the company he works for. If he didn't produce, nobody made money. If he produced really well, everyone made good money.

I drove rigs for 15 years and got paid 'piece work' or the equivalent in trucking which is 'by the mile' and I loved it. Why? Same reason as my dad. I'm going to outwork almost anyone out there and I want to get paid for the amount of work I get done, not by the hour. Getting paid by the mile encouraged me to work harder and more efficiently which benefited me and the companies I worked for. If I didn't produce, nobody made money. If I produced well, everyone made good money.

So I'm all for piece work. It aligns the interests of the company with the interests of their workers. When you're paying someone by the hour you're encouraging people to be slothy. The less work they do each hour the more they're getting paid for the work they get done. The harder they work the less money they're getting paid for the work they're getting done. So it's an endless tug of war. The company wants more work done for their hourly wage and the worker wants to do less work for their hourly wage.

In the end it comes down to how much will you make for the work you put in. To me, making $55k as an experienced driver turning about 110,000-120,000 miles per year driving a beautiful new truck around the country was well worth it.

And don't think for a moment that if they changed the way truck drivers had to be paid that suddenly the salaries would jump. They wouldn't. There are a million different ways to pay drivers - hub mileage, hourly, HHG miles, percentage, sliding scales, and a million variations of those. In the end it all works out close to the same. If they suddenly were forced through legislation to pay by the hour they would adjust the other wages and benefits to compensate so that wages would remain at the same level.

Now I'm always happy to debate anything but in a scientific way, not a political way. Stick to the facts. If you're going to sensationalize everything I say and turn it into something else I'm not going to waste my time with it.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Bud A.'s Comment
member avatar

The biguest problem I see with trucking from a truckers point of view is piece work pay. It needs to be looked at seriously and used only as a bonus system, not a base.

So then the guy who sits on his ass in the truck stop when he should be running and only runs 1500 miles a week should still make a living wage, even though the company is losing money on him? And he should make more than a rookie who hustles and runs 3000 a week because he's worked there 10 years?

Don't tell me it wouldn't happen. I had a union job when I was young, and the old lazy guys made twice what I did and worked half as hard, plus got their choice of schedules and holidays. Piece work weeds out the slackers pretty fast and rewards hard work and productivity. Pay every trucker hourly and the amount of freight hauled will drop significantly with so many drivers logging on duty while they're waiting at the dock.

OK, you might say, then raise the freight rates to pay for more drivers. And once you do that, you'll be *****ing about how much everything costs.

I agree that drivers should be paid more, but it ain't gonna happen by eliminating piece work or by rich Wal-Mart drivers winning a lawsuit to be paid more for sleeping.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Bud A.'s Comment
member avatar

plus I know most of you guys dont live in California... 80,000 a year is not that much, and a trucker that grows up in compton shouldnt be forced to move to Alabama or North Carolina just because he became a trucker. (the average home in compton will run you about 1500 a month)

$80,000 puts you in the 73rd percentile. In other words, a person makes more than 73% of all the other people who file taxes. And that's just the U.S. - I'm sure those earnings would be in the top 5-10% in the world. If you can't live on that, there's something seriously wrong with your expenses.

But please, don't move out of California. Most of the people in North Carolina and Alabama probably don't want you moving to their state. That goes for Colorado, too. We all agree you should stay in Compton. Please. If it's too expensive there, maybe try moving to the central valley. Fresno seemed really nice when I was there. Rio Linda has some nice houses too.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Eckoh's Comment
member avatar
double-quotes-start.png

The biguest problem I see with trucking from a truckers point of view is piece work pay. It needs to be looked at seriously and used only as a bonus system, not a base.

double-quotes-end.png

So then the guy who sits on his ass in the truck stop when he should be running and only runs 1500 miles a week should still make a living wage, even though the company is losing money on him? And he should make more than a rookie who hustles and runs 3000 a week because he's worked there 10 years?

Don't tell me it wouldn't happen. I had a union job when I was young, and the old lazy guys made twice what I did and worked half as hard, plus got their choice of schedules and holidays. Piece work weeds out the slackers pretty fast and rewards hard work and productivity. Pay every trucker hourly and the amount of freight hauled will drop significantly with so many drivers logging on duty while they're waiting at the dock.

OK, you might say, then raise the freight rates to pay for more drivers. And once you do that, you'll be *****ing about how much everything costs.

I agree that drivers should be paid more, but it ain't gonna happen by eliminating piece work or by rich Wal-Mart drivers winning a lawsuit to be paid more for sleeping.

Honestly i like the whole concept of pay by production jobs like trucking, you get payed based on how hard you work. Granted i also think you should get SOME sort of pay for On duty Not Driving because you are techincally working, however at the same time most do everything they can to be on that line a little as possible as you make more money by turning miles.

I also think that ALL the companies could pay the drivers far more then they do but the guys in the glass buildings will always make sure they have 6-7 figure incomes each year first. Its PAINFULLY obvious when you see one carrier pay 30 cpm for new drivers and another pay 45 cpm for new drivers that the companies can afford more then they pay.

Hell look at what happened to driver pay over the last year, once one company upped pay all the others did it at the same time not out of the goodness of their hearts its because they did not want to lose drivers.

That being said i completely disagree with the Wal Mart drivers saying they should get payed for sleeping, heck i hate going to wal mart DCs as EVERYTHING check in or out wise comes to a stop if a walmart truck pulls up and you have to wait for them to check in and NONE of them are in a hurry. Its no different then the strike they had at the dock in cali... guys making 100 to 150k a year crying they do not make enough...

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Rob P.'s Comment
member avatar

I just had to go look at WalMart's minimum qualifications for hiring. I can apply in two and a half years! I am going to start training mid July.

Interstate (Class A) Commercial Drivers License with Hazmat endorsement (including cleared background check) or will obtain HAZMAT endorsement (with cleared background check) within 60 days post conditional offer. Minimum of 30 months experience working in a full-time Class A tractor/trailer driving position in the previous 3 years. No more than two (2) moving violations while operating a personal or commercial motor vehicle in the last three (3) years. No serious traffic violations while operating a commercial motor vehicle in the last three (3) years. No convictions for a DUI , DWI , OUI, or reckless driving involving alcohol/drugs within the last ten (10) years. No preventable accidents* while operating a commercial motor vehicle in the last three (3) years. No preventable* DOT recordable accidents (collisions resulting in disabling damage and/or immediate medical treatment away from the scene) while operating a commercial motor vehicle in the last ten (10) years. No preventable accidents* resulting in a fatality or catastrophic injury in driving history (commercial motor vehicle).

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

Commercial Motor Vehicle:

A commercial motor vehicle is any vehicle used in commerce to transport passengers or property with either:

  • A gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more
  • A gross combination weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more which includes a towed unit with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds
  • DOT:

    Department Of Transportation

    A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

    State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

    Interstate:

    Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

    DUI:

    Driving Under the Influence

    DWI:

    Driving While Intoxicated

Attila's Comment
member avatar

Brett I have not heard any facts from you either, just your personal experience which I do take into consideration. I really find it halarious that you guys are saying a salaried or hourly wage creates sloth. I know many people who work dam hard in hourly and salary wages and do quite well. It's also halarious that you say piece work weeds out the slackers. I have seen way more of my far share of slacker truckers who have been at this for years.

Look you know as well as I do that these companies are finding it difficult to hang on to people. Maybe the old ways are not working as well as they used and it's time to change things up.

BTW I'm well on my way of scoring 100kmi or close by the time my year is up. 100% on time, no fail, no ticket, no accidents. I'm very happy with my progress this year as a rookie, so please don't try the discredit act.

Attila's Comment
member avatar

Another thing, WTF is wrong with wanting to get paid for your work? On Call Duty (waiting for dispatch) is considered legally working. Being required to sleep by the government at a certain time is considered working. You guys have such low self esteem you think your time is worthless?

Josh S.'s Comment
member avatar

Who really sits on duty waiting for a load to be dispatched?

The Persian Conversion's Comment
member avatar

I don't know about everyone else, but I already feel damn well compensated for my time as a rookie driver, and I know my pay will go up considerably as time goes on. I view all my time out here as being factored into my cpm. Time waiting for loads, doing pretrips, fueling, etc. It's all a part of my mileage pay. If I break down or have to sit for hours waiting for a load, yes I'll be missing out on money, but so will the company. Since we're in business together, why should the company have to pay me for that? It's an expected part of this business. Bottom line, my net annual pay is still way more than I've ever made before and I'm quite happy with it. I'm not greedy, I'm making enough for my wife and kids to be comfortable and to save for the future, and that's plenty for me.

Sure, I could be getting paid an hourly wage for all my non-driving time, but the company would more than likely have to cut my cpm to compensate and to maintain its slim profit margin. In the end I'd still get paid the same.

If someone is convinced that the only reason this industry doesn't pay drivers obscenely high hourly wages is so that the fat cats at the top can fly around in private jets having illegal monkey death matches in cages, smoking cigars lit with $100 bills and pooping on ivory toilets, then they should go occupy Wall Street or something and change the system. Bring down that evil capitalism and replace it with utopic socialism, comrade. Meanwhile, I'll be happy to stay out here and keep earning an honest, respectable and comfortable living for my family while doing my part to keep me employer in business and expanding.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

Indy's Comment
member avatar

Well, I've read thru all of the comments here.. and still can't find a good reason to begrudge the Walmart drivers. Brett's speculation that Walmart will be forced to eliminate their fleet... and all of those drivers will be out of their "cushy" jobs... might come to pass. No matter... court decisions such as this can only be a good thing for most of the rest of us drivers ... those of us that are making half of what a Walmart driver makes. Companies are being put on notice to better compensate their drivers ... how is that a bad thing? Who's side are you on?

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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