Truck driver strikes have become all to familiar at the Long Beach and Los Angeles ports over the years and port truck drivers are back on strike again. Over 200 truck drivers began striking on Monday against 4 trucking companies. The reason for the strike? Claims of wage theft and employers treating truck drivers unfairly. More less, it’s the same claims that have been made for years now.
It’s obviously clear to see that the changes being made over the past few years are having little or no help at all. The port truck drivers from Long Beach and Los Angeles have been treated unfair for many years, often making much less than the income they should be bringing in.
“All we an say is, they have a right to protest what they feel is right,” said Gary Schubert, executive vice president of International Bridge Transport. “We have a different opinion, and we’re waiting for everything to work itself out.” It’s a common statement that we’ve heard time and time again.
At this time, most of the port truck drivers are contractors. Drivers are not considered full-time employees. Due to this, port truck drivers are slaves of the bigger trucking companies. Until ATA or other trucking groups with political reach and power help the port truck drivers, I’m afraid we’re going to see the same issues time and time again.
In total, the 4 trucking companies employ around 500 truck drivers. Only 200 of those truck drivers are striking at this time. Port access routes are still open and the strike is having very little affect on deliveries. Nothing like we’ve seen in the past.
The biggest issues in the strike include Teamsters’ contention that drivers should be classified as full-fledged employees of trucking firms and the union’s allegation that drivers are not receiving the full amounts of wages they are owed. The Teamsters also called upon Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia to intervene upon the drivers’ behalf.
The striking drivers are being supported by the union, but cannot actually join a unionized workforce if they are classified as independent contractors. Most trucking firms doing business around the local ports hire drivers as independent contractors. If drivers were to be reclassified as employees, they could then be allowed to vote on officially joining the Teamsters.