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  • DATVF.LAXDAL
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NewsTrucking

Northern California-based union carrier to cease operations after 48 years (with video)

After 48 years in business, Frank Ghiglione, 82, the primary owner of Rodgers Trucking, has decided to close shop and retire, citing the main reason behind his decision is “the ever-increasing cost of doing business in California.”

Roughly 130 unionized drivers for Rodgers Trucking Company of San Leandro, California, will be looking for new jobs after the company announced it will cease operations after 48 years in late April.

Rodgers Trucking, which hauls dry freight, including wine and spirits, beverages, and food ingredients, filed a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act notice with the state in late January. The notice stated the carrier, founded in 1972, will shutter operations by April 30.

Alan Osofsky, safety and compliance manager of Rodgers Trucking, told FreightWaves on Thursday that the high cost of doing business in California, as well as the financial challenges of being a union carrier vying for loads against low-cost nonunion companies, was difficult.

“Smaller freight companies are having to contend with higher costs of new regulations and potential increases in insurance costs for this year,” Osofsky told FreightWaves. “We are doing everything to assist them in finding new jobs.”

According to the carrier’s WARN Act notice, Frank Ghiglione, owner of Rodgers Trucking, stated that one of its major customers, Southern Glazers Wine and Spirits (SGWS), will now provide most of its own transportation services. He said that Rodgers drivers “will have the opportunity to submit applications” to work for SGWS.

Around 30 drivers plan to retire once the company shuts down, Osofsky said.

This is the second carrier this week to announce plans to shutter operations after Tennessee-based Howard Baer Inc. ceased operations after 69 years. In both cases, the trucking company owners decided to shut down and retire. 

Read more articles from FreightWaves’ Clarissa Hawes

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Clarissa Hawes

Clarissa has covered all aspects of the trucking industry for 13 years. She is an award-winning journalist known for her investigative and business reporting. Before joining FreightWaves, she wrote for Land Line Magazine and Trucks.com. Clarissa lives in the Kansas City area with her family. If you have a news tip or story idea, send her an email to chawes@freightwaves.com.

39 Comments

  1. Noble1 suggests SMART truck drivers should UNITE & collectively cut out the middlemen from picking truck driver pockets ! UNITE , CONQUER , & PROSPER ! IMHO says:

    Ah there it is ! I just mentioned it under another article on this site .

    Another one bites the dust !

    Yeah it’s tuff to compete with misclassified and or underpaid drivers . Those big bad carriers !

    IMHO ………

    1. Yup.
      Thank democrats and republicans for employee misclassification allowing illegal alliens to work for peanuts.

      Freight rate depression and wage depression.

      Border wall will do nothing.

  2. California , yes we are here to regulate you into poverty, with the help of the Federal Government and big trucking companies we feel very confident a job well done, drive the small carriers and the last of the owner operators to the bread lines and homeless camps, tent cities.

    1. What do you mean MF Union ???

      Those drivers were well paid + benefits ! They can’t be held accountable for the owner’s lack of savoir fair during a contracting cycle ! The company sustained itself in the prior trucking recessions . The guy is 82 years old ! So he said f%$# it I’m retiring .

      Furthermore , he’s indirectly telling you that he would have cut his driver wages to ride it out ! Better he shut down than pick truck driver pockets ! ENOUGH WITH THE TRUCK DRIVER PICK POCKETING ALREADY to increase carrier profits ! That’s what you should be swearing about !

      The guy probably didn’t trade fuel contracts to decrease his fuel costs ! Out with the old mentality !

      Perhaps there are many going under , however , there are many that aren’t and unionized !

      IMHO …………

        1. Noble1 suggests SMART truck drivers should UNITE & collectively cut out the middlemen from picking truck driver pockets ! UNITE , CONQUER , & PROSPER ! IMHO says:

          It does appear a little absurd but one should never lose hope . At one time that’s all women had in their desire for justice & equality . At one time that’s all different racial groups had in their desire for justice & equality . What have they done ? They UNITED, CONQUERED , & PROSPERED !

          Hope is the seed from which massive change grows . I’ve planted mine and water it every single day . Have you planted yours ?

          Aside from being unionized , truckers united under mutual hardship in the past . However, this time it’s not about fuel prices . It’s about low wages , poor treatment, being cheated, misclassification , lack of safe parking , carriers lobbying government for excess drivers further diluting driver wages leading to an excess of competition among ourselves , and regulations diminishing our liberty ect.

          Now it’s about the industry’s poor structure and those who are causing this hardship .

          You can google this :
          “When Truckers Shut Down America to Protest Oil Prices—and Became Folk Heroes
          The strike started when one driver, mad as hell about the OPEC oil crisis, turned off his engine and got on his CB radio”

          Shutting down in the past due to oil prices skyrocketing hasn’t prevented oil prices from swinging tremendously in the future afterwards .

          This time it’s not simply about uniting for a short term Band-Aid , it’s about organizing and restructuring to prevent what is occurring from reoccurring . It’s about being the cure to this “dis-eased” industry . We eliminate the cause and the effect ceases .

          Google it : The Will and Ways of Hope

          I hope for change and thus have planted my seed which has began to grow into inspiration and a strategy to attain that desire .

          It can be done . We could do it . We must do it !

          In my humble opinion ……….

  3. Google this : ‘A sack of groceries & a steady salary’ — how one trucking company is solving driver problems

    Where in the heck did these people come from ??? WOW ! LOL !

    And I quote him @ 3 minutes 14 seconds in his video ad :
    “I’m paying you for your availability , sometimes guess what ,you’re an over the road truck driver ,guess what your availability is , 10 hours parked waiting so that you can legally drive again , should be paid , no matter what you shouldn’t have to worry about it” .

    Hallelujah !!! Where in the heck did he come from ? They should ALL reason like he does , every single one of these carriers ! Oh but he was a TRUCK DRIVER ! Ahhhh ya see !

    Quote :
    “Founded by a truck driver, Great Plains Transport ”

    IMHO ……….

  4. Some of , in fact most comments about unions are darn right ignorant . Unions are powerless without labourers voting them in to improve their circumstances .

    It’s the “labourers” that unite and say ENOUGH ! They want better wages and benefits along with respect . Labourers have no control over how management manages the company .

    Most truck drivers wish and dream for improvement . The problem in this industry is ignorance among drivers . Too many of them keep bending and accepting poor wages , no benefits , and a lack of respect , and or allow themselves to get manipulated into misclassification . Some are outright stupid and demand being misclassified due to not understanding the risky position they put themselves in by doing so . They think short term rather than focus on the bigger picture . Why didn’t the owner in this particular situation not try to sell the Co or an off the employees an ESOP ?

    IMHO ……

    1. typo : or “offer” the employees an ESOP(Employee stock ownership plan) ?

  5. Unfortunately truck drivers wont be standing together anytime soon. To many are very greedy and with the foreigners who are being put behind the wheel plus all the rookie drivers I just dont see it ever happening. I think it’s sad how trucking went down the tubes I’ve been driving 20yrs and I actually do make good money but the people I drive for are just getting by we need change now

    1. Noble1 suggests SMART truck drivers should UNITE & collectively cut out the middlemen from picking truck driver pockets ! UNITE , CONQUER , & PROSPER ! IMHO says:

      You can’t see the forest for the trees !

      It starts with camaraderie . That’s number 1 . Just being a friend and making a friend . One small step can go a long way and have a domino effect .

      Never underestimate what friendship can develop and accomplish . Unity is the golden key . It starts with having something in common . Anything in common and then build and grow from there .

      You can simply approach another driver and say : Hey bud how are you ? My name is X and I’d like to express my appreciation for your contribution that caters to our needs , thanks bud .

      That driver may think you fell off the moon but they’ll feel flattered if you come across as authentic . Just make that driver feel good and appreciated .

      Next time that driver sees you , he or she will have a positive association linked in their mind concerning you . Then build from there gently and wisely . Drivers tend to talk a lot and always have a story to share . Creating rapport is key to unity .

      Start small with one step while keeping the bigger picture in mind . Don’t sweat the bigger picture . Focus on creating rapport by being pleasant . Remember , a smile is contagious and it opens doors (wink)

      IMHO

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