Brampton truck driver takes wage protest to employer’s home

A truck driver who says he is still waiting for a paycheque took his protests to the Brampton, Ont. home of his former employer last weekend, backed by supporters in a group that identified itself as Naujawan Support Network (NSN).

Gagandeep Singh says he is owed $5,552.82 for 189 hours of work for Flowboy Haulage 1616738 Ontario Ltd.

Brampton truck driver protest
A protest was held outside a transportation company owner’s home in Brampton last Saturday. (Photo: @dhunnasim/Twitter)

The accusations have not been proven in court. When contacted by Today’s Trucking for a comment, a man who identified himself as company owner Buta Singh hung up the phone.

Members of NSN say their group has been formed by international students and young workers in the Greater Toronto Area, to fight worker exploitation. A group spokesman who requested anonymity says they wrote Flowboy’s owner two weeks ago, complete with a demand that wages be paid by July 14, else he would be shamed publicly.

But such protests are illegal, says Deepinder Loomba, of Brampton-based Loomba Legal Services.

“They can protest against his company, they can’t protest against him,” Loomba says.

Brampton truck driver protest
The group that organized the protest says further action will be taken if the wages are not paid. (Photo: @dhunnasim/Twitter)

The paralegal says the driver should seek legal advice instead of protesting.

“The protest is happening at an individual’s house, not against the company. The company address may be at that home. You cannot disturb that person’s family at their home.”

“The court will listen to both parties and make a decision,” Loomba said. “This is not India; they can be penalized for disturbing the peace. Have they taken permission for the demonstration?”

The driver says he was forced to use trucks that frequently broke down on the highway. When he complained about the condition of the vehicles, he says the owner ignored him. He adds that he was falsely blamed for delays and repairs when the trucks broke down.

The group says it is prepared to take further action in the coming weeks if the driver is not paid.

Leo Barros is the associate editor of Today’s Trucking. He has been a journalist for more than two decades, holds a CDL and has worked as a longhaul truck driver. Reach him at leo@newcom.ca

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  • This is nothing new in the east India and Pakistani community I’ve seen this more than once. They do it back home so they do it here too.
    I do know because I know and help them with their truck to help keep our roads safe.
    It is nothing for a truck driver of foreign descent to not get a pay for weeks and lots of stuff taken off of it.
    But when I tell you ( media) or a politician you turn a blind eye. We are not short drivers we are short people that care.
    Big companies don’t want to pay for what a driver is worth like TFI or many others the people in the office makes more money that the guy doing the work but the truck don’t work without a driver but automation works in an office to dispatch a driver.
    CEOs think only about themselves not about the main components of their business, this is why most companies fail and bigger they are the bigger chance of failure.
    But what I know I’m just an old time truck driver that’s been around the block a time or two.

  • He is 100% right to protest. In Ontario going to court costs a lot of money. Many truck drivers are in homeless shelters because of not getting proper care when sick or injured. In Ontario truck drivers are treated very badly and often cheated, mostly those new to Canada. We need minimum wage rates for all truck drivers in Ontario. I and many other truck drivers live in homeless shelters at the nonprofit expense.

    • I know a lot of truck drivers, between us we know of no truck drivers in homeless shelters but you keep repeating this.

      • I am a truck driver and stay in homeless shelters. How much do spend . I would be happy to show you.

    • I know lots of truck drivers, none of them live in homeless shelters! Except for you because you keep posting it here and other places.

      I do know some drivers that live in their truck to bank some money.
      It is not hard to EARN 70 thousand year easily as an OTR driver that wants to work!
      People on student visas are working illegally in the trucking industry and are driving down trucking industry rates and wages.
      They need to have their visas revoked and on the first plane
      most Ricky-tick!

      • The only reason truck drivers end up in homeless shelters is when they get or injured or not paid correctly. In Ontario Canada is have trench foot and enlarged kidney and trying to help with back treatment it is very hard. I contacted my local MPP and groups representing trucking companies in Ontario. Nobody is able to help me. I have been homeless for 7 years now. Do you have a solution for me then if that works.

  • As far as I know a student visa only allows for 20 hours work per week. None of these “students” even attend a school.
    They are in violation of their visa, as is the employer and should have their visas revoked post haste!

    • These students are being taken advantage of by a number of trucking companies and drivers services. The employer should to pay large fines with the money going to support sick and injured truck drivers.

  • A “peaceful protest “ is quite legal in Canada, as long as they don’t trespass on his property. The sidewalks are public, as with the boulevard. If the Police happen to show up, you are under no legal requirement to show ID or identity yourself , only if your charged with a crime. A protest is not a crime.

  • Bet the driver wasn’t complaining when he was making $5K+ a month bossing around the company and dictating their own terms.

    Yes, all South Asian fleets want to enforce ELDs, not follow driver-inc pay structures but they’re hostage at the mercy of their own drivers. If you want to operate the right way drivers will just walk out and go to the next guy with 5 trucks promising not only illegal pay terms but rides to work free food and crazy perks that mid-sized and large fleets cannot compete with. Over the last 5 years we have seen a rise in number of international students getting behind the wheel (which is fantastic mind you if they drive safe) as they are helping the driver shortage.

    As for the driver not getting paid, let’s get behind the story and see the reasoning behind it. It’s rare that someone will risk public embarrassment over a few thousand dollars. It happens daily where drivers damage thousands of dollars worth of equipment, customer sites, carrier reputation because they were not being careful. Why should his boss have to pay for this? It should be the driver’s end that it comes out of.

    It’s never a one sided story folks…that is all. The owner seems like a guy who just wants to do well for his company and his family but then we have these kids who go on Tik Tok and get motivated by rebelling drivers that demand terms such as $250 for layovers, hourly pay, etc. That’s fine….you’ll get the $100K a year pay but customers (brokers shippers will not pay for this). In the end its the operator and entrepreneur that gets the short end of the stick.

    • #1Because it is illegal for companies to dock workers pay for damages. Blanket contracts agreeing to pay for damages are not binding.

      #2 A student visa only allows for the student to work a maximum of twenty hours per week.
      I highly doubt any owners would hire a driver to work twenty hours in a week. The students are in violation of their visa and the employer is in violation of employment law!

  • 1-Peaceful protest is not illegal 2- this happens way too often with companies exploiting workers and then even filing for bankruptcy and reopening in another name , only to do the same.. fraud!! 3- I personally know people who have worked for companies who try to send them in trucks that are frequently breaking down or pushing them to do things that will push the boundaries/trucking rules. Not fair! 3- this man should pay his employees. period. And good for them for taking their protest to the street , I hope more media outlets will cover this and more of this type of behaviour will come to light. Don’t hate on the man working hard to pay his rent… hate on the ones trying to pay bare minimum to his employees which is the cause of rate cutting in the first place and exploiting new immigrants and students.