Headline News

Teamsters: Port Truck Drivers Escalate Demands


On day four of the port truck drivers’ Unfair Labor Practice strike at the ports of LA and Long Beach, picket lines are going strong at trucking company yards and headquarters, and at marine terminals, causing widespread chaos with shipping operations. Support from the Teamsters and other unions has escalated as the fight to end the misclassification of the port truck drivers as independent contractors continues.  Long truck lines are everywhere at the ports of LA and Long Beach as drivers and their allies picket Green Fleet Systems, Total Transportation Services, Inc., and Pacific 9 Transportation trucks.

Yesterday, musician Tom Morello came out to the picket line at Evergreen terminal to show his support for the drivers. “I know these guys are being screwed over, so their struggle is one that has provided me with a lot of inspiration, and their relentless pursuit of justice in the workplace should be inspiring for all working people and all working Californians,” Morello said, according to the Long Beach Press-Telegram.

Today, dozens of striking drivers and labor leaders will make public testimony at the Port of Los Angeles Harbor Commission, specifically demanding that the Port of LA get off the sidelines and take a constructive role in resolving the ongoing strike.

Striking port truck drivers who haul Skechers shoes, along with their supporters, will be at Skechers’ flagship retail store in downtown Manhattan Beach to raise awareness of the company’s ongoing business relationship with Green Fleet Systems (GFS), a Carson-based company that has recently been charged with egregious labor law violations. Despite repeated demands by drivers, community allies, and faith leaders that Skechers hold their exclusive trucking vendor accountable to the law, Skechers has refused to take action. As drivers and allies leaflet the company’s Manhattan Beach store just a block from the company’s headquarters, an airplane banner will fly up and down the popular shores of Manhattan Beach with the message, “Skechers: Laced With Misery.”

Green Fleet drivers, who transport containers of Skechers merchandise from the Ports of LA and Long Beach to their Moreno Valley distribution center on a contract basis, perform a challenging job under difficult working conditions. In their fight to better the lives of their families, drivers have been organizing to form a Union. In retaliation for their organizing efforts, Green Fleet Drivers undergo daily harassment and mistreatment from management, causing harm and anguish for the drivers’ families. For more information, read Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy’s report “Out of Step: How Skechers Hurts Its California Supply Chain Workers.”

This unlawful harassment led drivers to file “Unfair Labor Practice” charges against Green Fleet Systems that resulted in Region 21 of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to issue a consolidated complaint alleging a myriad of over 50 egregious labor law violations. Since that time, the company has continued to violate labor laws, resulting in additional charges, leading the drivers to strike again for recidivist unfair labor practices.

Though port truck drivers work long hours hauling nearly $4 billion worth of cargo every day, they often illegally receive paychecks below the minimum wage. The drivers transport imports for major companies like Walmart, Home Depot, Skechers Shoes, and Polo/Ralph Lauren.

Watch videos from the picket lines here.

See photos from the picket lines here.

For more information on the port truck drivers’ campaign, visit www.JusticeForPortDrivers.org. Follow us on Twitter @PORTDRIVERUNION. Like us at Facebook.com\Justice4PortDriversLA.