Dozens of California truck drivers gathered outside of their employer on Monday morning demanding payment for work that has gone uncompensated.
The drivers gathered outside of Freon Trucking in Bakersfield, California on November 14th on claims that they have not been paid “fairly.”
“There’s times that one week we’ll get paid. There’s other weeks that we will not get paid,” said Freon truck driver Joel Juarez to 17 News.
“I have a couple colleagues that haven’t been paid over a good few weeks even months, two months I heard the most. It’s been for a couple of my colleagues it’s been over $12,000, $16,000 that have been owed. As for myself I’m owed $2,000 which is a little bit but still I need that money to pay my bills. Take care of the stuff at home. You know I have a family to take care of.”
Driver have also reported bounced checks leading to their own bank accounts being frozen, using their own money to pay for truck repairs to get home, and getting stranded OTR when their gas cards were declined.
Protesters say that the company promised to pay the workers on Monday, but went back on their word, prompting the demonstration. The company said that the bank had frozen their assets and that they were unable to pay.
Even still, the company claims it plans to pay their workers.
“Our company has had some financial problems they are getting our money and this is the time of the season when no one wants to pay you. They want to work on our money so consequently our company is behind. Some of our drivers aren’t getting paid you know,” said Freon’s safety manager Bill Prough to Bakersfield Now. “It’s not that they’re not gonna get paid, they will get paid. The income goes down and the cost goes up and it just people don’t understand, the drivers don’t understand.”
The company reportedly filed bankruptcy on Tuesday, November 8th, but did not disclose further information about the situation.