Pacific Swell

Southern California environment news and trends

The race is not to the Swift, at the port

In the gully of time between Xmas and New years, when I did a series on what makes a home sustainable, another interesting piece fell into the port puzzle. an administrative law judge ruled on the legality of firing four workers from Swift transportation. Workers alleged they had been fired for union involvement; Swift maintained it had cause. It was a split decision: 2 guys were fired fairly, the judge said; 2 were reinstated with back pay.

If as a non-drayage-industry person you know Swift, it might be because the Port of Los Angeles lassoed Swift and Knight Transportation into giving the clean trucks program a boost early on, when signups of smaller companies and individual drivers were sluggish. The companies have sizeable footprints, not just in LA, but in the southwest/western region of the US.

The news speaks to the subterranean labor issues of clean trucking at the port. Signing up early, it seems, put a big target on Swift's back for union organizing. In addition, as Gene Maddaus of the Daily Breeze noted, "[The judge] also ordered Swift not to interrogate its employees about union activity, not to interfere with the Teamsters campaign, and to post a notice informing employees that it had violated federal law." That'll be something to watch in the months ahead.

NLRB decisions are just as awesomely impenetrable as regular court decisions. That said, you can read the decision here.

Incidentally, if you missed my conversations with an architect, a town planner, a civil engineer, and a woman moving into her apartment, you might check them out. Pretty interesting perspectives, diverse, on the matter of "sustainable home." What does it mean to you?

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