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lack of work, increased in work travel distance New Jersey

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  • lack of work, increased in work travel distance New Jersey

    Hello im a union concrete mixer operator,

    My employer do to lack of work, hasnt been able to provide us with 40+ hours in close to a year and a half. We have all been collecting partial unemployment since we averaged 20- 30 hours a week. The company has 5 terminals, drivers are assinged home terminals to work out of where we pick up our mixers and assist the other terminals if needed. About a year ago they started making us drive our vehicles to the different terminals and using the trucks there, rather than us driving to our home terminals and using our company mixers like in the past. The company offered to pay us $20 for every day we had to drive our vehicles to any terminal other than our own. Lack of work has continued and our unemployment claims have expired, and when we reopened new claims our benefits had decreased drastically. Most of our claims where reduced by $200 a week, which took our weekly partial benefits from around $500 to $300 a week. We are all top rate drivers who averaged $700 to $1000 a week before the company started to lack work. Now the company refuses to pay us the $20 for travel expenses and requires us to travel 2-3 times the distance we normally drive to our home terminals.
    A lot of us have lost our medical benefits, and now we average under 25 hours a week.

    Due to lack of work and increase in tavel distance many of us simply cant afford to keep working here, traveling 2 to 3 times the distance we normally travel on half the income. some of us are going into foreclosure and bankruptcy and the company simply refuses to lay off even tho some of us have requested so.

    can a company hold on to employess this way even tho they cant provide reasonable work to support our families? i went from 45k a year to 25k im lossing everything. it cost us more to work than to collect unemployment.
    they tell us traveling is a sacrifice we need to make but the work provided doesnt justify the expense. They are wearing us out so we quit and they dont have to pay UI. Is this legal? Is there anything we can do?
    Last edited by Tarsis; 11-11-2009, 04:13 PM.

  • #2
    There is nothing you have said that sounds illegal on it's face. Your best alternative is to start looking for work now (or preferably, last year). Worst case is that your employer fires you, which gives you what you want. The problem that you are going to run into is that your employer is doing exactly what the government wants them to do. The government feels that some work is better then no work. While I understand your argument, it is not an argument legally supported in UI law.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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    • #3
      thnx for the reply,
      i guess we really never did escape the monarch tyrants of europe we simply traded them for american corporate ones. looking thru this forum for the last two hours, seems like labor laws are more like employer rights.

      three cheers for capitalism!!

      ps, we dont want to get fired we want to be laid off. getting fired for us is as easy as backing up a mixer into another truck and saying ooppps, but that would be dishonest and dishonorable.
      Last edited by Tarsis; 11-11-2009, 05:57 PM.

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      • #4
        Backing a truck into another one also could get you disqualified from unemployment.

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        • #5
          backing a truck into another is not an option for me, im a honest person, and my work history has been, is and will remain flawless, i wasnt suggesting i would do such a thing. However in the many years ive been a CV operator i have seen many underskilled drivers terminated for having accidents backing up and none where refused UI benefits. Accidents are accidents these people where terminated do to insurance reasons not so much the accident it self.


          Honesty is the best policy, plz dont take this post the wrong way, im not suggesting to anyone to have an accident in order to collect UI, that would be a gross misinterpretation.

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