Lakeville Motor Express (LME) shuts doors, won't pay Teamsters

Discussion in 'Holland' started by henry j, Dec 13, 2016.

  1. henry j

    henry j Banned

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    On Nov 19, 2016 LME based in St Paul, MN. shut down completely without notice to 95 Teamster brothers.
    They have not been paid any of the earned pay they have coming. The trucks and equipment has been seen with new logos on the tractor doors and being used by a non-union company (also owned by LME's executives) named Finish Line Express (FLE). Previous customers are now being served by FLE. Freight is still on the docks of LME terminals. No pay has been offered to LME's former employees.
    This article deserves it's own header or name under LTL Carriers or Forums. Perhaps one of the administrators can move it to where it belongs. I had to install the news of the illegal and unfair conduct of LME management of no prior notice and no paychecks for all these people just before the holidays. Please comment on this and help support the Teamsters of LME. DO NOT enter any facility named FLE Finish Line Express. According to those that know, they are scabs and union busters. Read the news articles under Lakeville Motor Express.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2016
  2. useless

    useless Active Member

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    so much for the warn act
     
  3. joes bar and grill

    joes bar and grill Well-Known Member

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    "Only" 95 employees, under the 100 required.
     
  4. wongway

    wongway -15% Pay & Broke Pension Fund

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    And what has Hoffa spoke up and said about it ???? Come " Hoffa Voter's" what's up with him not speaking up for his member's ???
     
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  5. DMT

    DMT Well-Known Member

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    read a couple of other stories on this, been moving office workers from one company to another to get under 100 employees. second this is only one terminal LME has 50 terminals.The other terminals are non-union
     
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  6. Cab Lizzard

    Cab Lizzard Well-Known Member

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    Are roofing nails sales brisk in the area ?
     
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  7. henry j

    henry j Banned

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    i did not know how they got the number under 100, but they did it for an obvious reason. For me say it's unethical and shameful would be an understatement. I worked there (at the St Paul terminal) for a few months in 1989 as a casual under the previous owner and management. I didn't like the way they treated their people then, so I quit and went to a different union company. Because of that, I am not surprised that they eventually crapped on everyone. The new owners probably had this in mind from the day they took over. Even when I was there, LME had a tight relationship with non-union carriers, that made me uncomfortable. I was a city-dock combo man, working the night cleanup shift. Every night we loaded at least two 53 ft trailers FULL of freight that LME (including me) picked up from customers under the guise they were shipping "under a union label" VIA Lakeville Motor Express. As soon as it hit the dock at the Roseville terminal, it was re-loaded into those 53 footers. Every night, I took those trailers to a distribution point a mile away then called MASA (Mid America Shippers Assn). This place was all non-union. Their dock workers unloaded the freight, then re-loaded it into non-union large company or small independent owned trucks heading out that night in every direction. We were, in effect feeding a non-union broker with freight intended to be shipped on a union carrier by the shipper. When I asked why that freight was not given to another union company if LME could not handle it, my hours and days offered work as a casual was severely reduced. That's when I quit and moved on to a better union company.
    I feel sorry for those that stayed with LME to the end only to be screwed for their loyalty. The owners should be drawn and quartered for the way they treated their employees. Still no comment from Hoffa. The Local 120 president was quoted in a news article "If what they did isn't illegal, it should be". You mean he doesn't know? You mean he's not sure if refusing to pay for work performed (back pay) is illegal? I thought that's what the Teamster's hundreds of overpaid labor lawyers were for. I guess they're too busy trying to keep Hoffa out of the slammer to bother with lowly drivers, mechanics and dock workers.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2016
  8. henry j

    henry j Banned

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    I have tried to post the LME Lakeville Express article under it's own heading either in"Forums" or a separate heading under "LTL Companies" but no luck doing it, so I posted it here, since I am a both a former LME and former Holland employee (retired). I would like the administrators of Truckingboards move it to a better, more appropriate spot. The LME Teamsters that are now under attack deserve more attention.
     
  9. henry j

    henry j Banned

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    One more comment on the Lakeville Motor Express closing in St Paul and I'll "stuff a sock in it" under this title.
    In the comments section under the StarTribune newspaper on-line article about LME, "reader2580" said, "If LME owns their bldg, they should be selling it to make the final payroll. Same with trucks & everything else they own that doesn't have a loan or a lease on it"
    Since these company owners showed intent to dodge the WARN Act by reducing LME employee number to under 100, then one can only assume they have also transferred ownership or sold all properties and converted all rolling stock into leased equipment so that it can't be touched in bankruptcy court to pay employees or vendors money owed. They can legally claim that LME has no assets. You can bet that the fleet of new, recently purchased, Mack & Int'l tractors the new owners bragged about was all leased or owned on paper by their other company in town, (FLE) Finish Line Express, located in Maple Grove, MN.
    THAT COMPANY is now operating those same tractors with a new logo......How is that possible if it was not planned all along?
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2016
  10. henry j

    henry j Banned

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    Roofing nails don't do much damage to truck tires. Much more effective in employee parking lot.
     
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  11. buffalobill

    buffalobill Well-Known Member

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    Some of the other terminals were still union as recently as 2011, I saw one of their contracts, basically it was an nmfa with lower wages and pension, and a bunch of riders and mou agreements to secure work for their members. Some of the language, looking back on it, seemed to be written to protect a dwindling workforce, like the union had given up on representing new employees. Iirc, a lot of their trucks had fine print on the doors under lme, metro leasing, or something like that. I'd bet anyone hired after a certain time at some of the other barns were never in the union, and worked under the leasing company.
     
  12. henry j

    henry j Banned

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    Although I can't confirm what you say, it sounds very believable. I worked there (in Roseville) for a time 25 years ago and they were union, Local 120, but they were too cozy with non-union carriers even back then and the union bosses just tolerated it. This is what happens when the union goes along with white-paper contracts and give-backs that the company, and the union leaders agree is best for the members. Then, with intimidation and threats of job loss they convince the members to sign on to lower wages and benefits much lower Master Freight Contract that SHOULD apply to all. That's why the Teamster Freight Division has no teeth anymore. Too many side deals. Even the strikes are a joke with only a few companies being struck, while other union companies put on extra people to pick up the slack and new customers.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2016
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  13. skullcramp

    skullcramp Government Seal

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    Still seeing LME trucks operating in the Milwaukee WI area. Are they scabs now?
     
  14. buffalobill

    buffalobill Well-Known Member

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    You should ask one, I thought more than just one terminal in Minnesota was union, I thought all of Wisconsin and maybe some in IL, sd, ia, or ND were as well..
     
  15. Northern Flash

    Northern Flash Piss on our Flag, get a boycott against you.

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    You sound shocked.
    :chairshot:

    :biglaugh:
     
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  16. henry j

    henry j Banned

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    They MAY be from the non-union outlying satellite terminals.Newpaper reports Lakeville had only ONE Teamster terminal, that being the St Paul barn with 95 members. The president of Local 120 St Paul, was quoted as not being sure if what the company did was legal OR illegal. I'd say refusing to pay wages for work performed is illegal. (maybe Hoffa is telling him what to say) There are reportedly 50 terminals total. I'm not sure what you would call those guys running Lakeville trucks now that the company is officially and permanently shut down. A lot of the trucks with Lakeville or LME on them are now shifted over to the non-union "shadow company" that the owners also own, called Finish Line Express (FLE). If I were you and I saw one of those trucks at a dock somewhere, I'd ask the driver who he worked for. If he says FLE and is doing P&D under Lakeville name in a Lakeville truck - he's a scab. A turd is still a turd, no matter what color you paint it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2016
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  17. 15%Forever

    15%Forever Member

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    My understanding of the whole situation is LME and Lakeville moter Express where considered 2 different companies. Very shady. I run into LME drivers every day and that is what I have been told. Started out as Lakeville moter Express then they changed the name to LME for there non union terminals. Started FLE to replace Lakeville moter Express in the twin cities area. Like I said, very shady. Makes sense because I remember a few years ago the trucks and trailers changed from Lakeville moter Express to LME in my area. Very subtle change. They been working on this for a few years.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2016
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  18. skullcramp

    skullcramp Government Seal

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    That sounds very plausible. I've only talked to one or two of the drivers in the past, I'll be sure to find out next chance I get. only a guess, But the one I see pretty regularly, probably wouldn't even know if he was union or not, or who he worked for.
     
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  19. henry j

    henry j Banned

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    https://www.pissedconsumer.com/lakeville-motor-express/RT-F.html
    It's easy to act ignorant about something you know is wrong. My kids used to do it all the time. "I didn't do it , Johnny did" or "What broken window? Musta been the neighbor kid."
    Or it could be the "cleanup crew" hired by the bank handling the bankruptcy to clear the system of stranded freight. That's what happened when 2 of the companies I worked for closed do to bankruptcy (but I don't remember them using OUR trucks to do it). Their checks for doing the cleanup work on the docks and delivering the freight was issued by the bank or legal firm handling the bankruptcy.
    More than likely they are Finish Line Express (FLE) non-union people working for the parent company (also owned by the same people as LME and Lakeville Motor Express). It's really a dirty "shell game" designed and carried out by crooked, wealthy owners that are NOT broke by any means, but think they have figured out how to rid themselves of Teamsters by just "cooking the books" to make it appear there is not enough business to make a profit, when in reality, they just shifted most of the customers over to non-union FLE. The whole dirty story is on the enclosed "pissedconsumer" site posted by a 16 year former driver of Lakeville who knows all the details of the screw job the Teamsters at Lakeville are getting. (on the site, go to the post dated Nov 21, that starts with "As a current employee, now an Ex-employee."..... It is an interesting but maddening read. Unfortunately this will be a model for other companies to go by if they want to rid themselves of the Teamsters by doing a fake bankruptcy. They know Hoffa will do nothing.
    https://www.pissedconsumer.com/lakeville-motor-express/RT-F.html
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2016
  20. henry j

    henry j Banned

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    Want the real story from an insider 16 years Teamster at Lakeville? Go to this website and read his post dated Nov 21 and starts
    "As a current employee, now an EX-employee......)
    https://www.pissedconsumer.com/lakeville-motor-express/RT-F.html
     

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