On Friday, port truck drivers from the Pacer Cartage and Harbor Rail Transport in Long Beach, Calif., who had struck to protest wage theft caused by their misclassificaton as “independent contractors”, took down their picket lines and made an unconditional offer to return to work after both companies pledged to continue talks. Since the strike began on Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014, picket lines had spread from the twin ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach to intermodal rail yards that dispatch cargo to and from warehouses and distribution centers across America.
During the strike, drivers from eight major drayage companies united on picket lines at company yards, marine terminals, and rail yards to demand change. Drivers were joined on the lines by Walmart workers, fast food and car wash workers, public sector employees represented by SEIU Local 721, Teamsters, community allies, and local faith leaders. A majority of marine terminals at the Port of Los Angeles turned away struck trucks and long truck lines exacerbated congestion at terminals that allowed trucks inside, giving hope to striking port truck drivers fighting to change the drayage industry by ending illegal misclassification. Click here to watch video of massive congestion at Union Pacific rail yard.
“Over the past eight days, striking port drivers have been on the front lines of the Teamsters’ fight against the war on workers, including the fight to stop wage theft through misclassification as “independent contractors.” Because of the sacrifices of the drivers and their families, the support of drivers’ allies, and the help of Mayor Eric Garcetti, we are beginning to see change in the drayage industry. Drivers are demanding industry-wide change and we look forward to more drivers joining this growing movement. We pledge to support the drivers until justice is served,” said Fred Potter, International Vice President, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, and Director, Teamsters Port Division.
“With this strike, we showed HRT and the entire industry that when drivers come together, nothing can stop us. We are asserting our rights as employees and we won’t stop until we get them,” said Fidel Gonzalez, driver, Harbor Rail Transport (HRT).
“By striking, we showed Pacer and the entire logistics industry that we aren’t going to take it anymore. The days of driver misclassification are numbered. We are employees and the law is on our side,” said Humberto Canales, driver, Pacer Cartage.
Social Media Links
For more information on the port truck drivers’ campaign, visit www.JusticeForPortDrivers.org. Follow us on Twitter @PortDriverUnion.
Like us at Facebook.com\Justice4PortDriversLA.
View videos at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCF8ufmlmqnn6dMwtECW20TQ