A seemingly small group of XPO Logistics Inc. workers, accompanied by organized labor officials, will gather tomorrow outside the site of the company's annual meeting in an effort to air various grievances with XPO Founder and Chairman Bradley S. Jacobs in a face-to-face meeting. But it is unlikely that Jacobs will meet with the group.
Six workers from the U.S. and Europe will be joined in Greenwich, Conn., by two officials of the Teamsters union: Fred Potter, international vice president and director of the union's port division, and Greg Alden of the union's freight division. A delegation will then enter the room where the meeting is taking place to demand to meet with Jacobs, the Teamsters said in a statement today.
The group accuses Greenwich-based XPO of mismanaging the integration of the numerous businesses it has acquired over the past five years. It charges XPO with breaking its promises of job security to workers in Europe, and of mistreating workers of the former Con-way Freight, the less-than-truckload unit of Con-way Inc., which XPO bought last September for $3 billion, with terminal closures, subcontracting and layoffs, and bad-faith contract bargaining. In addition, it contends XPO misclassifies its port drayage drivers as independent contractors instead of employees as a way to avoid paying benefits.
XPO wouldn't comment on Jacobs' intentions. However, a statement issued this afternoon by the company seemed to indicate a meeting tomorrow isn't in the cards. "This is obviously a publicity stunt by the Teamsters. We have excellent relationships with our employees and the owner-operators who serve our customers. Our drivers, and the owner-operators we do business with, are aware that we pay them more than their union counterparts in other companies," according to the statement.
Noting the union's decades-long struggle to stanch the bleeding in its freight division, where membership has declined by about 350,000 during the past 35 years, XPO said the union "will have to look elsewhere for a way" to bolster its ranks.
XPO acquired French trucking and logistics giant Norbert Dentrassangle S.A. for $3.5 billion in late April 2015, and Con-way five months later.