A truck driver featured in a USA Today story about the exploitation of port truck drivers was fired the day after the story ran, and his company kept the $60,000 in lease payments that he had made over the past four years.
Trucker Fired After Speaking Out Against Employer
According to an update from USA Today, 36 year old port truck driver Rene Flores was fired by Morgan Southern one day after the paper published its explosive article “Rigged: Forced into debt. Worked past exhaustion. Left with nothing“. In the article, Flores told reporter Brett Murphy that he worked 20 hour days, 6 days per week hauling loads from Long Beach to Phoenix. Though Morgan Southern denied any wrong doing, Flores says that the company knew exactly what was going on. “Of course they know,” he said, “but the company doesn’t care.”
Flores says he kept a fake log book and worked 20 hour days, but many weeks he would take home only $300 for 100 hours of work.
“Rigged” was published on June 16. Flores was fired on June 17.
Four Years Of Truck Lease Payments Gone
Flores said that he wasn’t able to come up with the remaining $30,000 left on his lease-purchase contract, so he forfeited the $60,000 he had made on payments over the last four years. Flores was only 10 months away from the end of his lease contract, according to the report.
Morgan Southern spokesman Robert Milane said that Flores was terminated because of his refusal to use electronic logging devices and because of his public criticism of his employer.