Going the Extra Mile to Bully Workers
February 25, 2012
Toll Group has officially made it its business to do everything it can to stop workers from forming their union – even if that means neglecting its real business obligations in the transportation industry and to their shareholders. Topping the list is the day-long meetings that require truck drivers to sit through a gruelingly long doses of scare tactics, misinformation, and outright lies regarding the union (instead of performing their normal hauling duties for Toll’s customers like Polo and Guess?). The forced gatherings have become a weekly routine despite the employees voicing their discomfort with intimidating tactics so destructive to workplace morale and productivity.
This week Toll went the extra mile- literally. A top corporate executive traveled all the way from Australia to serve as the “keynote speaker” during this week’s meeting, appropriately dubbed “hostage meetings.” READ THE PRESS RELEASE
The fact that Andrew Ethell, Toll’s General Manager for Group Corporate Affairs, crossed the entire Pacific Ocean just to peddle propaganda made it clear that Toll is pulling no punches when it comes to denying their workers the right to a fair and fast union election.
“We couldn’t believe it. We’ve unfortunately become accustomed to Toll’s West Coast management harassing us, but now a top executive flew all the way in from Australia to push us around too?” observed Tomas Peña, one of the Toll employees subjected to the anti-union presentations.
If the visit from this top executive surprised workers in Los Angeles, it would likely be similarly astonishing for Toll shareholders and investors who were eagerly waiting for the release of Toll’s half-year earnings report. Instead of being on hand to analyze and defend Toll’s latest 4 percent profit drop, Mr. Ethell was “busy” lecturing Los Angeles Truck drivers about how bad life will be if they continue to fight for their union.
“I’m a truck driver, not a business man, but I would assume the head of corporate affairs should occupy his time making sure our global company is profitable. Instead Mr. Ethell comes here to bully a few dozen of us who are trying to improve labor-management relations in the U.S.? That behavior only demoralizes loyal employees and begs to make us less productive,” added Peña.
The truck driver with eight years experience hauling at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach then noted his Toll workmates from the Transport Workers Union had promised to directly assist their brothers and sisters get a fair shake.
LA drivers welcome solidarity missions from Australia but as far as they are concerned the other guy needs to go back to where he came from – down, and under.