The workers have to pay for and maintain their own trucks, effectively forcing them to pay to work. Because of that, and because the workers are mostly black, a 2010 report [PDF] from the National Employment Law Project and the labor federation Change to Win calls the situation of the truckers “sharecropping on wheels.” Some of them are forced to lease trucks from the companies they work for, meaning that they’re literally paying their bosses to be able to do their jobs. The report estimates that these costs can run up to 60 percent of the drivers’ income. “By the time we’ve taken out for fuel, insurances, our cell phones that we have to have at the companies that we’re with, by the time we get all those deductions, then it’s time to pay bills, we’re down to nothing,” says port truck driver Carol Cauley, another member of the organizing committee. “We kind of have to choose bills or family.” Lewis Grant, also a driver and committee member, adds, “With funds being low there’s some tough decisions that I have to make on a weekly basis. Do I buy new tires for my truck or do I put food in the refrigerator? Do I send my kids to day care this week?
Sharecropping on Wheels - Working In These Times
I wrote about Savannah’s port truck drivers, who are classified as “independent contractors” by their bosses but don’t get to make their own schedules or control the work that they do. What they DO get is the “right” to pay for their own trucks and equipment, charged for the cell phones the companies require them to use and other miscellaneous “repairs” to their trucks that they’re never sure were actually performed.
But they control a very important part of the supply chain, and they’re getting organized. So much for those who say we can’t organize the South.
Ah, the old pretending your employees are actually independent contractors scheme. Used to be pretty much the only option for bike messengers here, but Massachusetts has cracked down on that over the years. Also notable is the fact that there’s no withholding on taxes, and self-employment tax is a bitch. I’ve learned a lot about this the hard way. So, good luck to Savannah’s port truck drivers.
[A] lot of the research on pre-K suggests that, in fact, its long-term effect on reading and math test scores is fairly weak. However, pre-K does seem to increase high school completion rates; reduce rates of substance abuse; reduce felony rates; increase lifetime income; and improve non-IQ cognitive traits like the ability to delay gratification, the ability to hold a job, and the ability to control your temper. And that stuff is probably more important than an increase of a few points on the NAEP test.
, discussing the reasons for pre-kindergarten education. That’s great and all, and I agree that pre-K is a good thing, but really, me and a lot of the people I like most in this world might be more than one of the following: high school dropouts, substance abusers, felons, perpetually poor, unable to delay gratification, unable to hold a job, or short-tempered. And it’d be a shame to purposely try to create a society with fewer of us in it, I think. I see all those people who have good jobs and responsible lifestyles when I get to ride the normal passenger elevators, rather than the freight elevators, and there really needs to be more than that to life.