All American Xpress, owned by ex-NFL player Jamal Lewis was known as a nepotism filled backwater of a company during its entire 6 years in existence. In 2010 it seemed to be turning a corner, began using elogs after getting into trouble with repeated poor scores during DOT reviews.
I signed on in December and while happy with the work, was unhappy that A) they misrepresented the pay for solo drivers and that B) there was below par maintenance performed on company leased tractors and company trailers. Truck were mechanically in poor shape, trailers routinely had problems with bad tires and refrigeration units.
In April of 2011 after some major overhauls where the company President and Vice President were fired by the owner when he discovered major corruption and theft from company funds, Jamal Lewis preemptively filed Chapter 11 on AAX, I assume, to protect himself from lawsuits, and to try to keep the company running as he reorganized, tried to find new financial backers, and began the process of starting a new company, Runway Transportation. The problem? He did not tell any of his drivers this was happening. The company had sunk from 200 drivers in 2009 to 140 to when I joined in 2010 to less than 40 when I finally quit in mid-June. Starting in April when dozens of his trucks were repossessed, (another reason for the Chapter 11, to hold off further action by the repo men) payroll began to fall further and further behind - I assume this was because the lawyers involved in the Chapter 11 were now controlling the purse strings and any payments from shippers was going first to pay off company debt, and second to meet payroll. Many of us tried to stay with the company in hopes Lewis would get it turned around, but he had abandoned us. Literally. Drivers were left across the US with broken down rigs the company didn't have the funds to fix, stranded at fuel pumps with fuel cards that had no value, and in some cases, left watching as their rig was towed or driven away by more repo men.
In June when he had failed to meet payroll for the previous 5 weeks, I cleaned out my truck and went home. By then he had long since closed the Calhoun, GA terminal (firing 6 mechanics 3 weeks before Christmas) and was operating out of a location in Lakeland, FL near his two major shippers, Coca Cola and Publix. By early May, the Lakeland terminal was also abandoned. I don't know if there is any organized effort among drivers to sue as a group for wages owed, but I have taken it upon myself to make a formal complaint to the US Dept of Labor hours and wages division, and am preparing to file a civil suit against him in the Magistrate Court of Fulton County (AAX moved its company headquarters to an Atlanta office building shortly before I hired in late 2010). I have attempted phone calls, emails, and letters to his bankruptcy lawyer all with no response. Meanwhile press reports say the morally broke Jamal Lewis managed to snooker more investors into partnering with him for a 3 million dollar purchase of a foreclosed resort hotel. Nice, buy a 3 million dollar hotel and ignore the men and women who TRIED to keep your lame ego driven trucking company afloat.
AAX owes me $3820.00 in unpaid wages and as far as I know, that amount is similar to what he owes for over 50 other drivers as well. I have tried to get trucking magazines to cover this story since they took great interest when owners of Arrow Trucking did a similar thing several years ago, but no one in the press that I am aware of is willing to stand up for those of us from whom Mr Lewis has not only stolen our hard earned wages, but has additionally ripped off by failing to pay required taxes , failing to process workmans comp claims, and pocketing monies deducted from workers pay for insurance when AAX had stopped paying for any insurance at all (dirvers have been complaining since mid 2010 of trying to access health care only to be told by insurers that there was no account for All American Xpress).
The man is a convice, is morally bankrupt, is a theif, and I can only pray someone will step up and help the dozens of drivers like me who are struggling with bills because we are owed thousands of dollars in back pay and because we were left swinging in the wind and having to scramble to find new jobs.