What’s Hot? Not? In? Out?

Jim Luff
Posted on August 26, 2009
TELL ME MORE: From employee versus independent contractors, credit card fees, the price of fuel, or government control, I want to hear what’s happening in your world.
 
Writing a blog each Wednesday is something I enjoy. But only when people read it. I want to hear about hot topics that we can discuss, debate, argue or just plain bash.
 
I had lunch with our CEO, Ty Bobit, last week. He discussed the employee vs. independent contractor or operator business models of our industry. It seems we can never get enough of that. He reminded me of the blistering settlement Music Express endured a few years ago when they wound up on the wrong end of a class action lawsuit. While it cost Music Express millions of dollars for wrongly classifying their chauffeurs as I/Cs, it was a learning experience that put them ahead of the game by years and made them the current model of how a large company should pay its employees.
 
Seems like a few big boys, namely Bell Transportation of Nevada and some operators in the Tri-State area around Boston may be about ready to take a bath themselves as the economy has caused chauffeurs to wake up and realize in some cases they are making less than minimum wage and they’re not going to take it anymore.
 
In other places, overzealous government entities have wreaked havoc on licensing. Changing rules or getting a permit seems to be at the mercy of the big operators who don’t want any rules changed that might allow someone to come in and compete.
 
Other markets are seeing a revolt of the uniform. Should chauffeurs be showing up at the wedding in a tux better than the groom’s? Or should the chauffeur be in a business suit for a uniform and not looking like part of the wedding party? If he does wear a suit, shall we allow him to wear a blue shirt or should we stick with plain white shirts?
 
This is the week I am kind of taking a vacation to ask you what gets your motor running? What issues are you passionate about? What issues should the NLA take a stronger stance on? Is your association doing an adequate job at representing the membership?
 
There are literally tons of issues in the industry, but I am most interested in addressing those that get you fired up. Want me to look into something for you? Lead the way and I will get down and dirty as I did exposing the Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission recently in Driving Force. I am here for you and eager to hear what’s bugging you, making your happy, making you angry or curious. Need to vent? I am all ears.
 
— Jim Luff, LCT Contributing Editor
 
 

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