Swift to give oral… arguments…

Oral Argument Date Set – Posted January 9, 2018

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has set March 16, 2018, at 9:30 a.m. PST to hear oral arguments on Swift’s appeal of the District Court’s January 2017 ruling that this case cannot go to arbitration because the named-plaintiff drivers were/are employees—not independent contractors—as a matter of law. Each side will have 20 minutes to present their argument and respond to the Judges’ questions.

Swift’s appeal does not dispute that the District Court reached the correct decision—that the Plaintiff drivers are employees under the law. Instead, Swift argues that the District Court erred by considering the Lease as well as the “Contractor Agreement” and the parties’ relationship in reaching its decision.

The Court will also hear arguments regarding Swift’s mandamus petition; Swift contends that the District Court should not have lifted the stay on discovery, granting Plaintiffs access to Defendant’s records of those drivers who may have claims in the case.

Drivers had argued, successfully, that because this case has been slowed down, hindered, and repeatedly delayed for years by the Defendant, the information in Swift’s records would not be current or useful if, or when, a Collective Action is certified and Plaintiffs asked for the records so that we could begin the process of ensuring that the contact information in those records is up-to-date and accurate in order to send notice to a group of over 16,000 drivers who may be eligible to join this case, if and when that should occur.

Typically, cases such as these are certified (or not) fairly early after filing and if certification is granted notice is mailed to all the people who might be eligible to join. Plaintiffs moved for collective action back in May of 2010— but this process was stopped in the summer of 2010 by Swift’s Motion to Compel Arbitration. Now that the Arizona District Court has ruled against Swift’s arbitration motion, and said that the case must remain in federal court, the next step after these appeals will be to revisit the class and collective action motions.

The 9th Circuit live-streams oral arguments, and archives them for viewing afterward. When a link to the live stream is available, we will post it here so drivers can watch the hearing live, or later, at a convenient time.

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


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.