Canada Cartage hit with $100-million lawsuit over overtime pay

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TORONTO, Ont. — The debate over unpaid overtime in the trucking industry is heating up, with a $100-million class action lawsuit launched against Canada Cartage.

The law firm Lax O’Sullivan Scott Lisus LLP has launched the suit on behalf of workers who claim they were not paid for overtime.

The lawsuit has been launched on behalf of representative plaintiff Marc-Oliver Baroch, a shunt truck driver who worked at Canada Cartage’s Mississauga location for about seven years. The lawsuit will represent workers who’ve been at Canada Cartage since March 1, 2006.

The statement of claim alleges that Canada Cartage regularly required or permitted some or all of its employees to work hours in excess of their standard hours of work, in order to complete the common duties of their employment, the law firm alleges. The statement of claim also alleges that around July 2012, Canada Cartage reduced wages “without reasonable notice” in order to make it appear as though class members were being paid overtime.

The lawsuit alleges that Canada Cartage actually “manipulated class members’ rates of pay such that their gross weekly earnings remained unchanged.”

“This case seeks to pull back the curtain to reveal the long-standing and systemic practice by Canada Cartage of not fully compensating its employees for overtime,” said Eric R. Hoaken, a partner at Lax O’Sullivan Scott Lisus LLP. “The essence of the claim is that Canada Cartage did not meet its obligations to the class members and actively sought to mislead them about their entitlement to overtime. These practices must stop.”

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  • Finally someone has the courage to come forward and fight for the rights of the driving community. It’s encouraging to see that the Elephant in the room is finally being addressed. I can only see this being the beginning of a very long and hard road for Carriers in Canada. There is outcry from Johnny public when it comes to poor working conditions and a lack of oversight in third world Countries. If they only knew about the injustices happening on Canadian soil. Shame on the Federal Government and their lack of oversight to allow this to happen. I work for a very very well known Carrier and they too have failed to pay overtime. The winds of change are blowing and blowing hard right now!

  • Why is that truckers don’t get time n half after 44 hrs? We need to address these issues or make it important
    with are politician. We deserve more Money! Why does a Dz or fork lift person get more $ then a AZ truck driver?

  • The big cohona’s now are finally seeing “what goes around comes around”The so called bigger truckin companies tried bringing drivers in from other countries to fill the void in the so called driver shortage.That’s not working out to well.For well over a decaded I’ve been running up & down the Ontario Roadways & have been saddened to see the way the Truckin industry is headed.It’s long overdue & it’s time for the companies to finally anti up & start paying better wages to there drivers instead of nickle & diming them to death.I see now with the lawsuit why the Canada Cartage drivers are driving like manics along Hwy 89 at night.I guess I would be to i wasn’t getting paid what I was owed.The one issue that’s been worrying me besides the lack of pay is the way that citizens irritate the big rig drivers out on Ontario’s roadways,constantly I see every day 4 wheelers constantly cutting off truckers,pulling in front of the rig,slamming on the brakes.How long can this go on until 4 wheelers start getting crushed.I’ve driven in other parts of Canada & the USA & haven’t seen drivers getting harrassed at this level before.I fear a more wide scale 4 wheeler carnage is yet to come.To all the other truckers out there,BE SAFE.Keep her in the paint.

  • One of the factors that used to keep drivers’ wages decent was the negotiating power of the unions, most notably the Teamsters. With the conservative government’s desire to weaken and ultimately break labor unions, you can expect more and more of a decline in the remuneration in this industry. A job should pay enough to keep a decent roof over your head, a decent set of wheels, food in the fridge and a savings plan. A freight hauler’s pay barely keeps up with the roof and the food, let alone the vehicle and the savings. Do the math. And they wonder why they can’t get good drivers!

  • As someone who has been in this racket for 4 decades.
    I find the biggest hurdle is simply, too many carriers
    working for too little money.

    It easy to say no – too cheap, but you end up sitting on the side being ignored.

    Generally speaking this industry is 25% underfunded. Who is to blame?
    The guy offering the rate or the guy accepting the rate?

    When this imbalance is corrected, we may all may see a very different
    transportation industry.

  • Funny how people say all they want is justice…. How many people do you know say they dont take lunches and got paid for lying on the timecards?
    Or say they have lots of work to do but yet are sleeping in there trucks, or perhaps finding ways to cheat the system, or use a work phone for long distance personal calls the company shouldnt have to pay for?

    Where would justice beggin.

  • I agree it’s underpaid industry but companies like canada cartage get decent rates from the customers but keep finding new ways to cut wages and increase their profit margins. These companies don’t even pass the fuel surcharge to their owner operators they get from their customers. They try to make money from everybody involved in the business.

  • To @ why so greedy;

    The issue isn’t about greed; it’s about COMPLIANCE and Corporate Social responsibility. The issue isn’t about those dishonest drivers. It’s about those HONEST drivers who seek remuneration for their time and effort. We’re not talking about over time pay for city drivers only here. We’re talking about an industry wide failure to comply with labor standards rules and regulations concerning ALL drivers. We’re talking about Canadian Carriers committing tax fraud with the Federal Government to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. The 100 million dollars in unpaid over time by this one of hundreds of Carriers in this Country; is TAXABLE INCOME. All drivers are entitled to over time pay; most drivers don’t realize this fact. As an over the road/long haul driver, you’re entitled to over time after 60 hours worked in a given week. My employer won’t pay me for basic things like wait time let alone over time pay. I’m TIRED of putting in 90 hours a week and getting paid for 65 hours. The trucking industries’ “dirty little secrets” are finally bubbling to the surface after all of these years and I’m sure that Executives across this Country are circling the wagons with anticipation of an unfavorable outcome from this precedent setting law suit. Educate yourself.

  • Until the Labour Laws are changed to reflect today’s type of trucking
    very little will change.Ive been in the industry over 35 yrs. A lot of drivers are treated like scab labour. If Canada Cartage drivers win maybe a few other laws suits will get started. Good luck C/C drivers. the winds of
    change are blowing.

  • Couldn’t have happened to a better company! Something needs to change in transportation, it’s only getting worse. I should put my money where my mouth is but instead after 15yrs of OTR I hung up the keys four years ago. Things need to change for the “good guys” still out on the road. There’s a lot of questionable drivers these days mainly because no good driver would allow him/herself to be treated as poorly as these companies are treating their drivers and the good drivers that are left out there are there because driving runs in their veins and they know no other way of life and they bounce from company to company looking for greener pastures of days gone by so for those guys I’m happy to read an article like this! I hope something comes of it!!

  • Bert Greeley hit the proverbial bulls eye with his comment on trucking and reform. The labor code covers all drivers for over time pay. However, Very few carriers are paying it. The Labor Code has a mandate to handle all complaints on an individual basis. So even though a particular carrier has many many complaints filed against it over any period of time; only those complaints filed will be dealt with. These companies are audited for compliance in so many areas of business and yet there is zero accountability when it comes to payroll. The labor code needs to be changed to allow the Labor Relations board to come in and audit a Carrier’s payroll after only one complaint being filed. Nobody is filing a complaint with the Labor board over this because we’re all scared of losing our jobs. When word gets out that you’ve filed a complaint, you’re black listed.

  • I love hearing drivers say they want to see things change. I’ve been talking about the overtime provision in the federal labour code for truck drivers, even got “Today’s Trucking” Involved. Although drivers were interested do you think even one of them wanted to get involved? Nope. I still stand alone in this. Its been my experience that although drivers want changes…they don’t want to have to work for them or put their neck out. Instead the hope and wait someone else will.
    I hope Canada Cartilage drivers get their IT (I know they will) but I hope it stops their. Only drivers willing to taken a stand should get their OT

  • We have the most plutocratic government in the world…why would big businesses give us a decent wage when they are free to bring in cheap foreign labour? Yes, that includes foreign truck drivers and I am not talking about immigrants! Wake up boys, no one cares about any of you! I garantee CCS will win, just wait and see…

  • To pontificate on a subject in a swaggering, peremptory manner serves no greater purpose. The article and the issue behind it are not about “why would big business give us a decent wage.” It’s not about whether our Government is Plutocratic, Autocratic or Fascist. It’s not about bringing in foreign drivers on work visa’s to drive down labor costs. It’s about Corporations abiding by rules set forth and established by our Government that exist for all industries and all workers. These drivers will get what they’re owed plain and simple.

  • @roger,@johnny6…you guys are right On! Truckers want change, but don’t want to ruffle feathers. Talk is cheap. They want to cry the blues, but don’t want to do anything about it. As far as the c.c.s situation, I’m sure there lawyers will get them off. I hope that doesn’t Happen! Johnny, I don’t know if I would go that far..saying company’s pay overtime, after what thou?? I think the rule is 60 hrs in Ontario, but the long hauler I think is just his per mile. Maybe the odd company is different…jebb, I would disagree with your 2nd last sentence, companies pay what is fair by government standards, company’s want to pay as little as possible so they can put the majority in there pockets. Why does walmart pay 7.25 hr in the states , cuz they Can… and ppl will want the Work! Things will only change if people stand up for change…look at all the union jobs, teacher, transit, government, go on strike,get a wage increase . The reason why the hourly wage sucks in trucking, cuz they can find someone that will do the Job!

  • Driver,

    I could spoon feed information to you but I refuse to coddle your unawareness. I’ll give you the benefit of doubt by assuming that you’re capable of reading, listening, learning, self educating and speaking accurately in the public forum. Your ignorance is my bliss. The information is out there. Go read the provisions on the federal labor website for long haul truck drivers. Yes, they’re entitled to over time pay too. I didn’t make the laws. I don’t enforce them. I do however expect the employers of this industry to abide by those laws; as should you. The assumption that long haul truck drivers are not entitled to over time pay, will go down as the most scandalous, misconceived perception of this decade. As you’re aware, most companies are not paying this over time. Therein lies the problem. This lawsuit is just the beginning.

  • Johnny

    U might wanna read what I wrote again…I’ll spoon feed you, I know that truck drivers are entitled to overtime, my problem is its after 60 hrs? If you need help understanding what I wrote just ask? I’m in favor of things changing, as I drive Truck!

  • $19.50 per hour (I got $18.00 in 1999) so
    19.50x 44 = $858.00 so if I worked at a regular
    job Overtime after 44 $29.25 x 16 hours=$468.00
    Total $1326.00 still cheap re: 1999 but we don’t
    even get that now in most cases.
    So now someone thinks there is a driver shortage??.

  • The pay scale of the driver today is too low, and we all know this, and we have all worked for that certain company that offers the

  • This why so many owner opps trucks are sitting and so many drivers are doing other jobs bring the bc port pay to the industry now and there will be no shortage

  • I worked for Ccs for 43 years, got o/t once,,I drove,dispatched, garage admin., like I said overtime once, probably worked 45 to 55 hours weekly,, no overtime! At 67 years was given
    2 weeks notice, and they wanted me to train my replacement.

  • Cc needs to pay overtime as former employee I can tell that Cc shortchanges driver and owner-op pay and then tell the gov. that they need more drivers. Many former Cc drivers now working for the city and getting 50% higher wages per hour plus getting proper pay

  • Canada cartage made ( mistakes) on pay over 2 years that short changed my husband who was new to Canada over $4,500 . My husband and I went to Canada cartage office after he was working 6 months and pointed out the mistakes. We were told those are the hours that Loblaws pays us for. I said that did not matter and was strongly told that if did not like that my husband should go back to India. We were also told the by the federal ministry of labour that they would nothing for my husband and to be thankful that in 2 years he could get a different job.

  • Like my other colleague… finally!

    All of us are tired of fighting with managers who get hefty bonuses for breaking us. I hope all you other carriers are paying a lot of attention!!!! I have my money on the outcome against ccs and other carriers are going to feel the wrath once a favorable decision is made for drivers.

  • Yep , shortage of truckers willing to work for poor pay.
    After only 8 months of driving, I think I have packed that nonsense in. I hadn’t been paying to much attention to my pay, but after some 14hr days, and still not seeing any difference in money I took a closer look. Those short hauls to nearby cities (per/mile for those) brought my pay down to 14$/hr for the week. Saw it on Friday, quit Monday.
    What other industry works their people 60-70 hrs per week, after week after….

  • Many truck drivers and owner-ops have gave up driving truck for other jobs. Pay us $23.00 per hour off the Elog for company drivers and $40.00 per hour plus plus insurance for owner -ops and the shortage would be gone. One company with 70 trucks had over 60 drivers quit last year.

  • all i can say i work at ccs ( manatobia) for almost 14 years and and i love my job there ,ccs has treated me good the only thing that bugs me is wages , we make 18.77 a hour that inclueds .50 premium and you guys in ont make way more that us ,, no ot till after 9 hr or 45 per week there should be a fair wage with this company and theres not. very underpayed in manitoba