Put security in writing

National Labor Relations Board ruled that 23 FedEx drivers in Northboro, Mass., are employees and not independent contractors. The drivers who work for FedEx Home Delivery, a division of FedEx Ground, are seeking union representation from the Teamsters. FedEx, which emphasizes that only a few dozen – mostly former – drivers among 14,000 have challenged the company’s business model, says the NLRB decision amounted to a “procedural ruling” and that it will appeal if drivers vote to unionize.

Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and seven individuals have won class certification from a federal court in New Jersey in their lawsuit against Charlotte, N.C.-based container hauler Bridge Terminal Transport for alleged failures to disclose or document compensation provisions properly in its lease agreements. The plaintiffs also contend that BTT charges truckers unlawfully for fuel and fuel-related transaction fees and for insurance-related administration fees.

A former executive and a dispatcher of a Virginia trucking company have been sentenced for conspiracy and/or making false statements regarding their roles in falsifying drivers’ logbooks, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General. Norvell Preston, former president of K&C Trucking Co. of Rustburg, was ordered by a federal judge to pay a $10,000 fine and serve 30 days in jail. Dispatcher David Martin was fined $3,400 and placed on three months’ home confinement. Seven drivers have been sentenced to fines or home confinement.

Q We are a general commodity hauler that has authority to transport light hazardous material ($1 million in liability insurance is on file). All of our drivers are hazmat-certified, but placarded shipments make up only a small portion of our traffic. As a result of a recent audit by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, we were advised that we failed to have a security plan in place and accordingly had committed an acute violation. What are the rules on this?

A In response to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, FMCSA promulgated “Requirements for Development and Implementation of Plans to Address Security Risks Related to the Transportation of Hazardous Materials in Commerce.” These regulations are found at 49 C.F.R.