Truck drivers launch port strike

by Erica Shaffer
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PORT OF LOS ANGELES/LONG BEACH – Port truck drivers formed picket lines at four major drayage companies at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The strike comes as West Coast ports recover from a nine-month contract dispute between the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshoreman and Warehouse Union.

The Teamsters union said truckers established picket lines at company yards in the greater Los Angeles area and in San Diego. Truckers and their supporters are picketing marine terminals, rail yards and warehouses as far away as the United States' border with Mexico.

The strike stems from a 2012 lawsuit launched by truck drivers claiming their employers were engaged in wage theft and misclassification as “independent contractors”.

“We are here to make sure that these companies stop their lawless behavior. They cannot keep engaging in wage theft,” said Hector Flores, a port truck driver for Intermodal Bridge Transport (IBT). “We demand reclassification to employees. We know what we are doing is right, and we are not going to stop striking until these companies stop breaking the law.”

Companies affected by the strike include:

• Intermodal Bridge Transport (IBT);
• Pacific 9 Transportation (Pac 9);
• Pacer Cartage (LA region and San Diego); and
• Harbor Rail Transport.
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