(Los Angeles) –Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, port truck drivers, business leaders, labor leaders, and environmental groups today announced the formation of Eco Flow Transportation, a new, innovative company that will transform the drayage trucking industry by hiring all drivers as employees thereby creating a stable workforce, increasing efficiencies at our nation’s largest port complex, and sustaining clean air gains made through the Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach Clean Trucks Program, which is credited with reducing diesel emissions in harbor communities by 80 percent.
“We must make sure the ports work for the drivers who bring the goods from the docks to your doorstep. The misclassification of port truck drivers is not the gripe of a few drivers but a battle cry of a systemic problem that must be addressed. These professional men and women drivers are just the type of middle class Angelenos we need to support as we build an economy that works for everyone. Eco Flow is leading the way and becoming a model for the future of goods movement in Southern California – and soon, the rest of the nation as well,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
“A year ago, I was on strike with the help of the Teamsters. It is hard to believe that a year later, we are standing here together with Mayor Eric Garcetti, who showed strong leadership in bringing us drivers, TTSI, and Saybrook together to launch Eco Flow. Thank you, Mayor Garcetti, for helping us. Thank you, Jonathan Rosenthal and Vic La Rosa, for seeing that working cooperatively with us – and with the Teamsters – can be good for business. Thank you to the Teamsters for standing with us as we fought to become employees. You believed in us when everyone else wanted to keep us in the shadows of the ports,” said Alex Paz, an employee driver for Eco Flow Transportation (formerly with TTSI). “We are 100 percent committed to working with you all to make Eco Flow a success. We know that we are a part of something new and different and great. And we are committed to helping to make the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach more efficient because we know that what we haul on and off the docks is what makes America great.”
“This is a real transformation, not only for our company but for the industry,” said Eco Flow and Saybrook Chair Jonathan Rosenthal. “Drayage trucking needs to adapt to the changing trends in goods movement and this new company model is symbolic of that needed change. We look forward to continued growth, efficient operations and a reliable working environment for our company employees.”
“Eco Flow Transportation is off to a great start and the Teamsters are committed to making sure it’s successful in leading the port trucking industry into a new era of growth, innovation, efficiency, AND good jobs. We want to thank Mayor Garcetti for his leadership in helping us achieve this landmark “port solutions” agreement, our great new partners at Saybrook Logistics, Congresswoman Janice Hahn for her unwavering support for the drivers’ pursuit of justice, but most of all we want to salute the port drivers because without their courage and bravery, this historic agreement would never have been possible.” Fred Potter, Director, International Brotherhood of Teamsters Port Division.
From the environmental standpoint, the great thing about the deal that Mayor Garcetti brokered is that it is the best opportunity to have the cleanest trucks and to keep them well maintained,” said David Pettit, Senior Attorney, Natural Resources Defense Council. “The problem that we have now, even with the modern trucks, is that the diesel particular filters get gummed up because the trucks aren’t running hot enough and that leads to increased need for maintenance that the underpaid so call independent contractors can’t afford.”
The landmark “Port Solutions Agreement” between Eco Flow and the Teamsters is the outcome of confidential discussions brokered by Mayor Garcetti between the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Port Division and Saybrook Logistics, which owns both Total Transportation Services Inc. (TTSI) and the new company, Eco Flow Transportation. After only its first month of operation, Eco Flow has 80 employee drivers and is on a path to have 500 employee drivers within the next year.
Over the past five months, the Teamsters and Eco Flow have developed a dynamic partnership that serves as a model for bringing labor peace to the port and maximizing the productivity and efficiency of port operations and the flow of goods. The following are a few key elements of the Port Solutions Agreement between Eco Flow and the Teamsters:
- Eco Flow is a 100 percent employee driver company designed to maximize efficient utilization of truck assets in order to reduce congestion and diesel emissions.
- The company has a neutral position regarding the choice of its employees to unionization to ensure labor peace.
- Representing the drivers, the Teamsters and TTSI resolved outstanding legal issues between them and settled litigation at the NLRB and DLSE.
- Eco Flow is an innovator in the utilization of “free flow” cargo, which can help move cargo out of terminals more rapidly and increase the velocity of Port of Los Angeles terminals.
- The Teamsters and Eco Flow Transportation have agreed to aggressively promote the “port solutions” agreement.