Parties Met for Mediation, Waiting on Hearing Date

– Posted November 16, 2017

In September, Swift requested Plaintiffs’ attorneys to engage in the first settlement mediation—this is the first movement toward settlement negotiation since the case was filed. The parties held a mediation on October 21 in San Francisco, with a private mediator—Mark Rudy. While positions were discussed, no resolution was reached at that time and no further on-going discussions are currently planned. This is typical of complex cases such as this one. While GSD does not expect a quick settlement, we are confident of our chances of ultimate success in this case.

We are still awaiting a hearing date from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals for oral argument, and will update the website when it is known.

New Moon Mining Station

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For those of you interested, here is a screenshot of my Moon Mining station I have setup of the test server. 1.7 billion ISK worth of minerals just got blown out of my moon! That is phenomenal. That could definitely make setting up one on the regular server worth the trouble and expense.  I am still testing everything out but I had to show this off.

El Dorado Stone job slowed while trucks pile up

Conewago had a couple hundred cubic yards of concrete on order for gawd awful early in the morning. They asked for a close spacing to get it done quick. They were using 4500lb mix which sets up pretty quickly if your not careful. They neglected to communicate with dispatch to let them know to hold for a while. They had a couple silos that would take a lot longer to do. But instead the said nothing. We ended up with a bunch of trucks sitting on the job for much too long. When the crew poured the concrete out they quickly found themselves fighting to keep ahead of the quickly hardening mix.

Most people think of concrete as “mud”. Mix dirt and water and when it dries you get brick. If it gets too dry when working with it just add water to keep it where you want. This is NOT the case.

Concrete can actually set up under water assuming you keep the water from carrying it off. Basic concrete is a mix of aggregates (stone and sand mostly), water, and hydraulic cement. There are special recipes for more specialized concrete but that is for another story. Hydraulic cement is activated when mixed with water. The cement then begins “glueing” the stone and sand together to form a single solid mass. You can not unactivate the cement or undo the bonding (without ruining the concrete). You can add water to increase the slump or maintain the slump as the bonding process continues but this will permanently damage the cement’s ability to bond the particles together. It’s a case of use it or lose it. As time goes on the concrete will either get harder and stronger or if you add water it will delay getting harder but lose strength until there is nothing left after the process runs it’s course.

Super P and pumping

From my experience, smacking it with a hammer will only pack it in tighter. The whole problem was the Superplasticizers they were using. They wanted the concrete to flow like it was wet without adding water to it. That is something you do when truck pouring. Pumping is the alternative to using Super P. They should not be used together. Sure enough when they stopped using it, everything worked well.

Superplasticizers are also known as high range water reducers. Basically it’s juice you put in concrete to make it temporarily act as if you added a lot of water but without actually adding any water. It will increase the slump for a short period of time making it easier to place. Since you are not having to add water then you are not decreasing the cement to water ratio thereby reducing the final compressive strength of the concrete. Mechanical means can be used as well suck as using vibrators or pumps.

On the flip side of that coin is the explanation that the more water you add to concrete beyond the desired cement to water ratio the weaker the concrete’s final compressive strength will be. So a good rule of thumb is to maintain the proper compressible strength but have a higher “slump”, use a mix with more cement. Instead of 3000lb mix at a 4 inch slump you use a 3500lb mix at a 6 inch slump. They were using 5000lb mix for an application that could probably have been done with a 4000lb mix at a 6 inch slump. So personally I think trying to maintain a low slump using the water reducer Super P was just a waste. We were not truck pouring so a higher apparent slump was not needed to achieve what the pump does naturally.

The slump of concrete is how far a cone made of concrete “slumps” down from a 12 inch height. The wetter the concrete the easier it flows and therefore the more the cone will fall. A 1 inch fall, or slump, means the mix is tight and probably very close to the maximum cement to water ratio which dictates the final compressive strength. A 12 inch slump means you have a puddle of self leveling concrete that is easy to work with as no raking is needed but it will probably have no strength left of the original design strength.

Swift’s Appeal of January 2017 Ruling — Posted June 15, 2017

On May 24th, 2017, Swift filed an appeal to the Arizona District Court’s Order and Opinion (Jan. 2017) in which the District Court ruled that the five named-plaintiff drivers are employees, not independent contractors as a matter of law, for the purposes of § 1 of the Federal Arbitration Act. That ruling was important for many reasons — first, it prevented the case from being sent to arbitration, and second, the Court agreed with Plaintiffs that drivers are employees as a matter of law. Swift’s appeal does not dispute that the District Court reached the correct decision. Instead, Swift argues that the District Court erred by considering the Lease as well as the “Contractor Agreement” in reaching its decision. The drivers’ response to the appeal brief is due on Thursday, June 22nd, and Swift has until July 7th to file their response. Once the appeal is fully briefed the court may or may not assign a date for oral argument.

The Drivers have moved to renew (883) their Collective Action Motion (105), which is fully briefed by both sides, and have moved for Class Certification of a nationwide class of Lease Operators (884). If class certification is granted, notice will issue to all drivers who may have eligible claims. However, over Plaintiffs’ objections, the District Court stayed the case for the duration of the appeal. Plaintiffs moved the Court to lift the stay in order to require Swift to provide names and contact information for all drivers who may be able to participate in this case, and the Court required Swift to provide this information by June 19th.

Retention bonus

April 10, 2017
Dear Swift Owner/Operator Driver,
We are pleased to announce a special “Capacity Retention Bonus” being offered to Swift Owner/Operator
Drivers in recognition of your service, contributions, and commitment to the success of Swift
Transportation. As announced today, this Capacity Retention Bonus is offered as part of the
establishment of common ownership of Swift and Knight Transportation.
Those eligible will include all Swift Independent Contractors with Independent Contractor Operating
Agreements (ICOA’s) effective as of, May 1, 2017, and who are still under contract and working at the
close of the common ownership transaction, anticipated to be in 3-4 months.
Owner/Operators will receive a $250 fuel credit for Owner/Operators who are still under contract during
this transaction period, beginning May 1st, through closing, in approximately 3-4 months. The fuel credit
will be paid approximately two weeks after the close date of the common ownership transaction between
Knight and Swift, in approximately 3-4 months.
We recognize and appreciate your contributions to our company. You play a critical role in the success of
Swift Transportation.
If you have any questions, please speak directly to Terminal Leadership or the Rapid Response team.
Thank you!
Richard Stocking