Truckers who move import and export cargo in and out of the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach went on strike today (Monday, April 28th).
Justice for Port Truck Drivers, a group backed by Teamsters Local 848 union, is organizing the strike and has more than 100 truckers striking at three trucking companies as well as picketing trucks as they enter the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
The three trucking companies are:
Green Fleet, Pac 9 Transportation, and Total Transportation Services Inc.
The L.A. Times reports that Justice for Port Truck Drivers “accused trucking companies of wrongfully classifying truck drivers as independent contractors, a classification that denies drivers workplace protections such as overtime and mandated work breaks. It also results in lower pay, the group said.”
TruckingInfo.com reports that according to Justice for Port Truck Drivers “port truck drivers work long hours, hauling nearly $4 billion worth of cargo every day for companies such as Walmart, Ikea, and Home Depot, yet often receive paychecks below the minimum wage.”
TruckingInfo went on to highlight some recent victories by truckers and union organizers against port trucking operations:
Earlier this month, seven port truck drivers employed by Pacer Cartage who were misclassified as independent contractors were awarded a total of more than $2.2 million by California officials. In March, drivers for Pacific 9 Transportation in California settled their differences against their carrier, giving them employee rights, including the right to form a union.
The classification battle is one that truckers have been fighting with trucking companies for a while.
L.A. Times reported:
…port drivers in California have filed more than 500 complaints of wage theft related to misclassification, according to the state Department of Industrial Relations. The agency said 32 drivers have won decisions against 13 trucking firms, securing $3.8 million in wages and penalties.
This truckers strike comes at a time when the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are seeing increased cargo as shippers fear a possible dock workers work stoppage as the ILWU contract expires this summer.
Here at Universal Cargo Management, we’re keeping an eye on the situation and how international shipping cargo is moving through the ports. As always, we’ll continue to share with you the major happenings in the international shipping industry and take care of your shipping needs.