City Hall Rally Culminates in 10,000 Petition Signatures Delivered to Mayor Garcetti
A week-long strike by Port of Los Angeles/Long Beach truck drivers and warehouse workers culminated in a large and raucous rally on the steps of the Los Angeles city hall on June 23. Striking workers and their allies then went inside to deliver nearly 10,000 petition signatures calling on Mayor Eric Garcetti, as well as Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, to end indentured servitude at the ports they oversee.
Workers had been picketing outside of trucking company yards and terminals utilized by XPO, Cal Cartage, CMI, Intermodal Bridge Transport and others, over the employers' unfair labor practices.
The drivers and warehouse workers ended their strike when they made unconditional offers to return to work at their place of employment, though the drivers themselves are not considered employees by the trucking companies that employ them.
"Corporations have pushed tens of millions of American truck drivers, warehouse workers and service sector workers into poverty through greedy subcontracting schemes designed to increase CEO pay. One of the most insidious corporate schemes is to misclassify employees as independent contractors to dodge payroll taxes, lower wages, avoid paying benefits and to evade the laws that protect employees," said Fred Potter, International Vice President and Director of the Teamsters Port Division.
"My boss says I don't work for the company, that I'm not their employee. That's ridiculous. I only work for them, I don't have my own customers, and dispatch tells me where to go and when. The government has ruled over and over again that we are all employees and the companies are stealing from us. How much longer is this going to be allowed to continue at the ports?" said Domingo Avalos, an XPO Cartage driver.