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Medley trucking business in limbo, leaving drivers unpaid
By Jacqueline Quynh,
MIAMI -- Hundreds of truck drivers working for a Miami-Dade trucking company are demanding to be paid after driving thousands of miles but not being paid by the business.
Dozens of truck drivers gathered Wednesday at Flagship Transport but didn't find answers to their questions.
"No supervisors, no boss, no managers (and) we came to pick up our checks," said driver Juan Suarez. "They owe me $8,000 (and) some $10,000. It was all a lie."
Suarez told CBS News Miami that he had just returned from driving and delivering goods over thousands of miles.
"I stopped at Walmart, you know (to deliver) 40,000 pounds of almond milk," he said, estimating that hundreds of other drivers are in the same boat. "Two, three weeks ago, we tried to cash our checks, it was being bounced by the bank, and that's when they used the excuse of it was a miscommunication between the banks (and said), 'Don't worry about it, we'll fix it.'"
Suarez said he's looking at what he can do to recoup the money he's lost.
"We called the police (and) they say there's nothing they can do," he said.
CBS News Miami tried to contact the company through several of its listed numbers but no one had responded as of Wednesday evening. Court filing show that the company is already being sued for not paying a lease.
"This is a generality if you have lots of people that are owed money that usually means there are money troubles and that money will not be around a whole lot longer," said Gary Costales, an employment lawyer said.
He said independent contractors sometimes don't have the same protections as regularly employees working for a company, which is why he cautions prospective employees to do their research before taking a job with such companies.
In addition, he said it's always good to keep some things on file such as documentation of a job or contract, receipts, and when applicable, to contact local employment or labor authorities for help with loss wages.
"Miami-Dade County has a wage theft ordinance that is pretty strong (and) that allows for hearings and everything," Costales said.
But if a company is going under, generally those owed money will have to file a claim through a court process that experts say could be lenghty.
"We're going to stand here until we get some answers," Suarez said. "We can't continue our lives, a lot of money is being stolen from us."
When CBS News Miami left the company's office at midday Wednesday there were still dozens of people there waiting for an update.
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