Last week we were proud to join U.S. Congressional Representatives Nadler, Napolitano, Barragan, and Lowenthal in front of the U.S. Capitol when they introduced legislation demanding that port drivers have the same rights as all workers in this country. Telling our stories exposed how trucking companies and Amazon, Target, and Costco exploit us through truck lease scams that leave our families destitute.
This was our first time visiting Washington, D.C., but it won’t be our last because we can’t wait any longer for change to come.
You already know port drivers keep our entire economy moving, which is why we continue to hold ALL politicians accountable including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia. Since they are responsible for the LA & LB ports, we will continue to demand they ban companies that break the law by stealing our wages.
Here’s the problem in a nutshell: Target, Amazon, Costco, and other retailers hire trucking companies to deliver all their merchandise imported by a giant container ship. In an ongoing quest to maintain their luxurious lifestyles, retail CEOs subcontract their port trucking to vendors that push their business costs onto the backs of us drivers. The result is all truck costs – fuel, insurance, maintenance, parking, and lease payments – get deducted from our paychecks. In order to earn enough to cover all the truck expenses and bring some scraps home to our families, we must work 14, 16, even 18 hours every day.
The same exploitation exists at every port. Everywhere, the trucking companies call us “independent” so they can fool everyone. You know the old saying, “if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, then it’s a duck.” Well, the companies treat us like employees and control our work like employees, so we are employees.
We are proud to be port truck drivers delivering everything people need. We want to be treated with respect and have the right to collectively bargain for better wages, affordable health insurance, and retirement security. We are grateful to U.S. Representatives Nadler, Napolitano, Barragan and Lowenthal for introducing the “Port Drivers Bill of Rights” and the “Clean Ports Act” because we need their support to help us turn trucking jobs at our ports into good jobs.
Thank you for standing with us.
Formerly Southern Morgan
Daniel Aneseko Uaina (Seko)
Intermodal Bridge Transport