Company issues response saying steps being taken to alleviate problem
Several truck drivers complained Friday of long delays and no access to bathrooms at a DrinkPAK warehouse on the 25000 block of Avenue Tibbitts, with one truck driver saying he was forced to park in front of the location for 16 hours due to warehouse delays that crowded Valencia Industrial Center streets with waiting trucks.
The driver, in an email to The Signal, said he arrived for his appointment to deliver at 1 p.m. on Thursday and was forced to camp out in front of the facility due to short staffing and lack of space in DrinkPAK’s warehouse.
He said in the email that he was frustrated because he, and the other waiting drivers, do not get compensated when a delay causes lost wages when their next load gets canceled — and that while delays can be frustrating, not being given access to restrooms as they waited was the real insult added to injury.
“While those times are long, the issue is we have no facilities to relieve ourselves,” the driver wrote. “They won’t allow us to use the restrooms inside, so our only choice is less dignified. We are people, too. Not to mention that DrinkPAK is essentially using these trucks on the street as a warehouse on the road. They also have a portable restroom trailer on site but it’s locked.”
A representative of DrinkPAK said the facility on Tibbitts is being sub-leased from L.A. North Studios — which hasn’t been able to use the building due the Writers Guild of America strike. The DrinkPAK official stated the portable restroom trailer on the site is owned by L.A. North and therefore they don’t have access to it.
The drivers said they had to resort to urinating in bottles or taking their whole rig to a local gas station to use the restroom.
The driver who wrote the email said the reason he wanted to speak up about the conditions surrounding the facility was to “put pressure on (DrinkPAK) to treat us with dignity.”
“I, and the other individuals that work hard to keep this country moving, would appreciate it,” he wrote.
On Friday morning, approximately 15 trucks could be seen parked on the streets surrounding the facility. Several drivers of these trucks confirmed they had no access to restrooms, canceled subsequent loads and had been waiting for several hours, expecting to be there for more. Those drivers asked not to be identified.
A representavie of DrinkPAK said most of the trucks seen parked on the road surrounding the Tibbitts facility on Friday “were very likely ours” and that DrinkPAK was “working to transfer products to our other locations and alleviate the congestion.”
“We understand the frustration this has caused drivers, and we want to assure them that we are taking immediate action to rectify the situation,” read a statement sent by a DrinkPAK official who asked not to be named. “We are continuing to communicate with dispatchers and drivers to keep them informed about the anticipated wait times. We also will be adding portable restrooms to the yard for the drivers. We sincerely value our transportation partnership and the drivers’ dedication to serving our customers.”
The DrinkPAK statement said a portable bathroom was ordered and will arive at the Tibbitts location on Tuesday. The statement said the company’s new facilities under construction at its Needham Ranch headquarters will include a dedicated guard shack and yard that “will provide a dramatically better experience for drivers” as they aim to lower wait times.
According to the statement, the summer drink season caused a sudden surge of inbound volume, which in turn caused the delays.