Musician and labor activist Tom Morello joined the picket line at Evergreen terminal in Long Beach to show his support for the port truck drivers during the week-long strike in July. Morello was in the bands Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave and now records under the name The Nightwatchman.
“I know these guys are being screwed over, and their relentless pursuit of justice in the workplace should be inspiring for all working people and all working Californians,” Morello said.
All week, picket lines were going, causing chaos with shipping operations. Support from the Teamsters and other unions escalated as the fight to end the misclassification of the port truck drivers as independent contractors continued. Long truck lines were everywhere at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach as drivers and their allies picketed Green Fleet Systems, Total Transportation Services, Inc., and Pacific 9 Transportation trucks.
The day after Morello’s impromptu concert on the picket line, dozens of striking drivers and labor leaders took their grievances directly to the Port of Los Angeles Harbor Commission.
Ultimately Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti asked the union and the three port companies for a “cooling-off” period in which his office would undertake an investigation of the testimonies of mistreatment that the port drivers had brought to the Commission.
“Striking port truck drivers showed tremendous courage and commitment to stopping the injustices they face hauling the goods that Americans rely on every day,” said Fred Potter, International Vice President and Director of the Teamsters Port Division. “While the drivers wanted to continue the strike, they agreed to a cooling-off period because Mayor Garcetti personally committed to them that he will thoroughly investigate the serious injustices the drivers presented.”
To continue following the fight to end misclassification at the ports, visit teamster.org/divisions/port.