From Tulsa World, 12-31-09
U.S. Trucking companies are scrambling to hire the cream of Arrow Trucking Co.’s drivers, but they are having difficulty verifying employment records of the Tulsa flatbed carrier that suspended operations last week, officials say.
Just as Arrow’s employees are being stonewalled in their attempts to get back wages and unemployment insurance information, trucking companies are receiving the silent treatment in their efforts to get information on Arrow drivers and employees, company executives said.
“All the major carriers, we’re all willing to help the drivers,” said Mike Hitchcock, corporate vie president of driver development for Knight Transportation Inc. Phoenix. “Everybody has room for some, but the FMCSA requires us to obtain employment and drug/alcohol testing information, and this could hold drivers back from what should be a quick transition into another trucking job. No contact information is being provided from Arrow that we know of.”
When Arrow’s lenders canceled company fuel credit cards, stranding hundreds of drivers and freight around the country on Dec. 22, Arrow executives closed company offices and shut down the phone system.
Despite industry rumors of an imminent bankruptcy filing, Arrow executives have not filed any legal documents indicating the company’s intent to reorganize or liquidate its assets.
Creditors and lenders have filed lawsuits and liens against the company and Arrow has defaulted on over $400,000 in bills. But a spokesman for Chairwoman Carol Pielsticker said the situation is “fluid” and company executives are still uncertain about its future.
Not making a decision on whether to liquidate the company in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or reorganize in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing may preserve the company’s options, but it also may lead the company into further legal thickets, industry officials said.
Dan Case, executive director of the Oklahoma Trucking Association, said it is a violation of federal law for a company to provide employment verification and drug/alcohol testing information if requested by another company.
Nanci Davis, president of Compliance Concepts, a permitting and safety consulting firm in Oklahoma City, said potential employers of Arrow drivers may inquire about employment verification and drug/alcohol testing by letter, fax or e-mail to Arrow’s last known street address, fax number of e-mail address.
“If the employer (Arrow) does not respond…within 30 days, you can turn them into the FMCSA,” Davis said. “Then the FMCSA can perform an audit, visit the company and find out why they are not responding.”
Posted on Sun, January 3, 2010