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Scab Truck Wreaks Havoc With Traffic

Scab Truck Wreaks Havoc With Traffic
Urbana Taxpayers May Be Victims of Typical Corporate Cost Shifting Move
In an incident which is typical of the many ways in which well-off
corporations shift their costs onto the public, a scab truck operated by
Brisk Transportation wreaked havoc with local traffic in Urbana, IL on
Monday evening, Nov. 20 after ripping open its fuel tank. The accident
involved a semi-trailer combination which blocked traffic on Vine Street at
the railroad underpass, just south of Five Points. This forced the
numerous police and fire units that responded to the accident to block
vehicles for more than a hour from using Vine St. until the truck was
removed and the fuel spill cleaned up.

Brisk Transportation is the scab trucking outfit from Texas that took
the jobs of more than 150 local Supervalu workers when Supervalu
contracted out its transportation departement to crush a union
organizing drive when the company announced a series of wage reductions
in 1998.

After a disputed union election that saw the National Labor Relations
Board make a number of questionable rulings in favor of the company and
then refuse to pursue documented evidence that the company had broken
the law in firing the workers to break the union effort, Brisk was
brought in to do the work. It is a company that specializes in replacing
workers involved in labor disputes by hiring independent truckers who
often are unaware of local road conditions and directions.

Independent truck drivers in general are notorious for committing
various hours of service and logbook violations when they attempt to put
enough miles on to keep up with their truck loan payments. Truckdrivers
are restricted by federal law from driving more than 12 hours at a time
and must document this in logbooks, a system ripe for abuse when
owner-operators are involved, as is the case with Brisk.

The accident followed the effort of the driver to turn into the back of
the County Market-Broadway Ave. store the wrong way, from the east. Due
to the layout of the loading dock, it can only be approached from the
west side of the store by semi trucks. The driver did not pay attention
to this situation and ripped open a fuel tank, spilling diesel fuel
which required cleanup to prevent it from harming the environment by
draining into the Boneyard Creek by the Urbana Fire Department. It is
unkown if local taxpayers will have to foot the bill for the spill
caused by Supervalu's inexperienced cut-rate trucking company.

Supervalu supplies County Market, IGA and Cub food stores across
Illinois and Indiana from their facilty in Urbana. The formally locally
managed division was at one time known as a good place to work, until
new management arrived with the retirement of the last of the previous
leadership. The new regime has initiated a number of repressive
employment policies, has a record of numerous on-the-job repetitive
motion injuries and acts quickly to put down any organizing attempts by
using fear tactics of job loss to intimidate workers.

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