April 27th, 2015

Trucker Strike in LA/LB

4/27/15 11:49 AM EDT

Hundreds of drivers serving the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports went on strike this morning, over their classification as independent contractors instead of employees. The drivers work for Pacific 9 Transportation, Cartage, Intermodal Bridge Transport and Harbor Rail Transport.

Barb Maynard, a Teamsters spokesperson, estimated about 500 truck drivers are on strike. The strike’s duration remains unknown.

The truck drivers also demand that Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia take action against wage theft and misclassification, since the ports are part of the cities’ property. The mayors appoint the harbor commissioners and lease marine terminals to operators. The leasing agreements require anyone working on the ports to obey federal and local law, Maynard said.

Meanwhile, Green Fleet Systems  entered into a comprehensive labor peace agreement with the Teamsters to guarantee respect for the drivers’ collective bargaining rights if they choose union representation. Green Fleet Systems drivers went on strike in August and November 2013 over unfair labor practices.

— Marianne LeVine