June 16, 2017

Port drivers, warehousemen to strike Los Angeles, Long Beach on Monday

Union says workers to protest misclassification, poor working conditions.

By DC Velocity Staff

Approximately 100 truck drivers and warehouse workers serving the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach plan to launch a strike starting Monday, according to the Teamsters union local that represents the workers.

Union officials said the strike is a protest against efforts by port logistics companies to misclassify workers as independent contractors rather than employees, and for broad mistreatment of driver and warehouse labor at the port complex, the busiest in the country. Union officials announced the strike yesterday at the Port of Los Angeles, which they say has enabled the practices, along with the adjacent port in Long Beach.

Drivers and warehouse workers will picket Greenwich, Conn.-based XPO Logistics Inc. terminals Monday, and they'll spread their picket lines to Intermodal Bridge Transport Inc. and California Cartage Co. LLC, two other port drayage companies, on Tuesday, union officials said, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.

The announcement came as the USA Today newspaper published an exposé today showing how cash-strapped port drivers were forced to lease trucks they couldn't afford, then were worked beyond legal limits for take-home pay that sometimes fell below $1 an hour. Companies would then fire the drivers and seize their trucks, many of which drivers had already spent thousands of dollars on.

The strike is believed to be the 15th by port drivers and warehousemen in the past four years.

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