- The Teamsters Union interrupted proceedings during JOC Events' 17th Annual TPM Conference in order to confront XPO Logistics CEO Bradley Jacobs over various employment practices they deem unfair, JOC.com reported Monday.
- Besides alleged driver misclassification, other issues include accusations of wage theft, or illegal deductions from pay, and increasing income inequality, wherein a CEO earns an exponential amount more than the workers within the company, the Teamsters said in a press release.
- Jacobs said the Teamsters were "out of control" and disruptive, unlike other unions, according to various tweets on the CEO's response to the protest.
XPO Logistics' CEO is lauded in the industry for his vision in transforming the company from a $702 million company to a $7 billion company in less than four years.
A recent commentary by SJ Consulting Group on JOC.com likened the CEO's success to be on the path of FedEx's Fred Smith and J.B. Hunt, among others. While such a comparison may be too early, it is clear the CEO's vision of growth by acquisition has proven widely successful and even served as an example for other ambitious logistics companies.
However, the past year has been difficult for Jacobs as unionized labor continues to protest XPO's supposed mistreatment of workers. The protest at the conference was meant to draw attention to these issues and secure a meeting with the CEO, but Jacobs refused to meet.
The clash is but the latest in a series of protests following an announcement the company would provide Jacobs with a windfall stock award of $110 million as a reward for his leadership. Fifteen labor unions in Europe quickly came together to condemn the move. In addition, workers complain of the company's wage practices, and drivers are protesting unfair treatment along with poor working conditions.
However, JOC.com reports 99% of the company's workers in North America were non-unionized and that was unlikely to change. So while the issues remain, a wider disruption appears unlikely to occur.
Nonetheless, the protest against XPO caps a week's worth of news wherein organized labor showed their muscle against logistics companies, at times threatening to disrupt supply chains. The International Longshoremen's Association threatened to shutdown ports in the U.S. East and Gulf Coasts, spurring a flurry of anxiety by shippers, and ATSG's ABX pilots reached an agreement to settle the issues behind an air cargo pilot strike during the holidays' peak fulfillment season.