Striking Truckers Return to Work

By: Classadrivers.com

More than 120 striking truck drivers in the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports returned to work last week after a five-day protest. The strike, which briefly halted cargo flow at ports, arose from alleged workplace violations and improper classification of workers.

“The drivers will return to regular work shifts on Monday,” said Teamsters union spokeswoman Barb Maynard. Teamsters is representing truck drivers in this issue.

In a statement, Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti said the situation will give the Los Angeles' harbor commission time to investigate the "serious allegations regarding worker safety, poor working conditions and unfair labor practices.” The truck drivers’ return to work came after the companies promised to allow all drivers back to work without retaliation.

The drivers launched a strike last Monday morning against three harbor-area firms that haul freight from the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports. The companies affected were Total Transportation Inc., Green Fleet Systems and Pacific 9 Transportation. The firms have about 400 trucks serving the two ports which make up about 4% of the total registered to do so, according to Long Beach port spokesman Lee Peterson.

The truckers are allegedly being classified as independent contractors, a status that provides them with fewer protections and lower pay than if they were hired as employees. There have been three previous protests this year for the same reason.

The trucking companies blame the protests on "outside interests" attempting to unionize the drivers.