Rene Flores is one of the truckers who spoke to USA Today for its excellent investigative piece on the use of debt and indenture to force truckers to work for literal pennies (or sometimes even pay for the privilege of working).
Flores helped flesh out the story of how trucking companies facilitate grossly unfair loans for drivers to use in order to buy their trucks, then take loan payments out of their pay packets, then cancel the loans and confiscate all their payments if the trucker is fired or can't make a payment.
In retaliation for this, Flores's employer, Morgan Southern fired him. Flores lost his truck and the $60,000 he'd paid towards its purchase.
Rene Flores said he regularly broke the law as a port trucker in southern California, hauling shipping containers up to 20 hours straight between Long Beach and Phoenix.
He kept a fake logbook tucked beneath his seat so regulators wouldn't know he was violating federal fatigue laws for commercial truckers.
He said his company paid him so little — and charged so much for his leased truck — that he had no choice.
Flores said his managers at Morgan Southern knew about his hours, but for years the trucking company looked the other way.
Then, the 36-year-old father of two talked publicly about his illegal hours in a USA TODAY Network story.
On June 17, the day after the story published, Morgan Southern fired him.
Morgan Southern fires trucker who spoke about 20-hour workdays
[Brett Murphy/USA Today]
(via Late Stage Capitalism)