September 24, 2020 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Port Of Los Angeles, Long Beach Truck Drivers Strike:

Truck drivers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach announced a strike today against three more short-haul “drayage” firms serving the port complex.

The drayage firms are QTS Inc, LACA Express, and WinWin Logistics, Inc, said Barb Maynard of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

A noon news conference is planned, where officials will announce picket locations and “further strike expansion for Tuesday,” Maynard said.

“Drivers are striking to end misclassification as ‘independent contractors,’ a scam that has led to massive wage theft and denied drivers basic workplace protections such as safety and health regulations, disability insurance, workers compensation, and unemployment insurance,” Maynard said.

On Friday, the union had agreed to stop picketing and resume labor negotiations with two other trucking firms that had been targeted in job actions a day earlier.

The two trucking companies — Total Transportation Systems Inc. and Pacific 9 Transportation — “have made clear that they respect drivers’ right to choice with regard to unionization,” according to a joint statement from the companies and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters union.

“As requested by Mayor Eric Garcetti, the Teamsters, TTSI and Pac9 have agreed to continue their dialogue in an effort to resolve outstanding issues between them,” according to the statement. “Both sides have expressed a desire to sit down and continue confidential discussions of these issues and challenges facing the drayage industry.”

The agreement to resume negotiations meant that the truckers ended two days of picketing. Port officials said the picketing had minimal impact on cargo operations at the harbor.

The union contends the two trucking companies violated terms of a “cooling-off” period brokered by Garcetti in July by firing at least 35 employees and deducting from paychecks in retaliation. The union believes the drivers are improperly classified as contractors when they should be paid as full-time employees.

Drivers from another drayage firm, Green Fleet Systems, agreed last week to extend the cooling off period affecting them and their employer “due to productive conversations with the company owner,” the union statement said.

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