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Travels of a Trucker Family Time versus Company Time

May 21, 2012

Hello everyone and thanks for reading Travels of a Trucker. I appreciate the fact that each and every one of you enjoys and reads my little blog post every time I post one out. You know just recently I was thinking about something which troubles me. Balancing time between family time and working for a company who expects you to be there for them whenever they feel like calling you. I have to admit at some point there comes a time when one has to say this is bullshit and suggest that they might want to start being a little fair or at least having an attitude that if I do them a favor they will remember it. I will give you a couple of recent things which popped up in my work. Or actually better yet, I will just post the whole damn email so you can all see how it is that I have been treated with this company. In fact, they have not paid me overtime. They call me frequently on my scheduled days off and really I dislike saying no to anyone. Well today was a good example. They informed me Saturday that I would be working Monday. It’s a long weekend, I may have had other plans. Then I am told they need a trailer to one customer on Monday morning and that would be it. So with no time deadline except Monday AM, I arise out of bed at 8:30 to see I have missed calls and a text “do you have an eta for trailer to ckf?” So I call them and say I’ve just woken up. He says we needed the trailer there by 9am and I said well I was told Monday AM and it appears I have 3.5 hours left until the morning is over. So he says “don’t worry about it it’s been done by someone else we don’ need you anymore” and hangs up on me. Like wtf? You wanna treat me like that. Fine I will go look for something else. So here is the email in a nutshell I just sent out to them on Sunday when I discovered they also had not put my advance in the bank. We get an advance on the 20th and are paid on the 5th. No money in my bank and my truck loan will be coming out!!! So that is how it stands. I am sure they just referred to not needing me anymore today, but with that attitude it won’t be long before I hit the trail finding another place of employment again.

Hi name removed,
I felt I should address a few issues that have come to light.
Recently I was advised that I am not being paid properly. I am unsure if you were unaware of this or perhaps it was just overlooked. According to my sources, as an employee of a trucking company I am eligible for overtime pay which has not been paid since I started employment with RPM on January 4th 2012. I looked into this for further clarification and it appears the only way overtime can be waived is if an employee is on an averaging agreement which means any overtime earned can be “banked”. An example of banking would be those employees who work in a landscaping business and they cannot work if it is raining outside. Any overtime would be paid on the day they are off as regular wages as if they had worked on those days they could not work. Since this is not the case, I would like to see the overtime earned from the period of January 4th 2012 up to the current pay period paid and overtime paid in the future. According to the regulations an employee is allowed to claim 6 months back on lost wages. I have included the legal excerpts that you can peruse at your leisure but I am sure you will agree with me that it has not been done properly. I have also included my Excel spreadsheet of overtime earned which has not been paid out as of this current pay period.
this is the page regarding length of time regarding claiming back wages
Limit on amount of wages required to be paid
80  (1) The amount of wages an employer may be required by a determination to pay an employee is limited to the amount that became payable in the period beginning

(a) in the case of a complaint, 6 months before the earlier of the date of the complaint or the termination of the employment, and
(b) in any other case, 6 months before the director first told the employer of the investigation that resulted in the determination,
plus interest on those wages.
The gist of the legality is as follows
I would be considered a “shorthaul” trucker since I work within a 160km radius.
As a short haul trucker I am eligible for overtime after 9 hours of work on any day.
Regular wages to 9 hours. Time and a half after 9 hours to 12 hours. Double time after 12 hours.
Overtime after 45 hours in any work week.
Now I am not sure if you also were aware of this but “long haul truckers” are also entitled to Overtime after 60 hours in a week. The mileage rate is calculated as an hourly rate and paid at time and a half after 60 hours. Since I am bringing this to your attention, this only affects me since for privacy reasons it isn’t my right to discuss wages with other drivers.Therefore you have my upmost discretion in this matter.
Call In’s to work
Since name removed and the company decided that I would work Tuesday to Saturday and I have agreed, my days off are Sundays and Mondays. since I have a family here and a daughter in Calgary I frequently make plans to travel to see my daughter in Calgary also. It is however rather difficult to make plans when for example no notice is given that I have to work on my scheduled day off. As an example, this long weekend. I have no problem working on the long weekend, but when I am told on Saturday that Blake is off to the Island and I have no indication that his truck has not been fixed or no notice that I have to cover for him it presents a real challenge in making family plans or scheduling a visit to my daughter or attending events. There needs to be more communication at asking if I am available to work on a day which is scheduled off for me. While I also understand the needs of the trucking company, I cannot simply live my life to the phone at call and whenever required to be suddenly present. I have to make plans for my family also. In the case when I wanted even one day off from a Saturday I gave 3 persons notice within RPM that I would be off one Saturday 3 weeks in advance. Of the three only one that I knew of wrote this information down (name removed) whom I know is the weekend dispatcher and I continually reminded her of this fact also so she knew I would not be available. I then covered a Sunday on my day off to make up for the Saturday which I was off as name removed could not find anyone else.
Anyhow, I just wanted to bring these to your attention so we could work these issues out.
Thanks for reading everyone. Tell me what would you do in my situation?

From → Uncategorized

  1. Byron permalink

    Turn your cell off on your days off.

    • This would be a nice thing to do, but I have heard from other drivers who work the highway that they get in shit from them if they have their phones off. As a matter of fact I was just talking to a highway driver on Wednesday who told me he had his phone on but ignored their calls and when they asked him he said on his days off it’s time and they still gave him shit for not answering. I shouldn’t really have to turn my phone off, but it just so happens I work on Saturdays. So the Saturday dispatcher told me I was needed Monday.

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