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7/8/2014 1:40:00 PM Write a Letter to the Editor Write a letter to the Editor

Los Angeles Port Truckers Strike to Join Union, Spokeswoman Says


Teamsters Local 848

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the busiest U.S. trade complex, were struck by about 120 truck drivers protesting low wages and their employers’ refusal to let them join a union, a spokeswoman said.

The strikers represent less than 1% of the more than 12,000 short-haul truckers who serve the ports, said Barbara Maynard, spokeswoman for Justice for Port Truck Drivers, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters’ group seeking to organize the drivers.

 

RELATED STORY: Contract in place during three-day break.

“It’s not a big percentage, but trust me, these 120 drivers will have a big impact,” Maynard said by telephone.

Long Beach officials saw no evidence of a walkout or disruption, according to Lee Peterson, a spokesman. Informational pickets were set up at the Los Angeles facility, said Phillip Sanfield, a spokesman. The combined complex accounted for 61% of trade volume on the U.S. West Coast last year, according to the Pacific Maritime Association, which represents shipping lines.

According to Maynard, three companies, Green Fleet Systems LLC, Total Transportation Services Inc., and Pacific 9 Transportation Inc., improperly classified the drivers as independent contractors to reduce wages and benefits.

The employers retaliated against drivers leading the effort to join the Teamsters, firing some, intimidating others and taking legal action, she said.

Rancho Dominguez-based Green Fleet is “discouraged to learn that outside interest groups have again decided to block the rights of these drivers to go to work and earn a living,” said a statement from Alex Cherin of the public-relations firm of Englander, Knabe & Allen.

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By Bloomberg News

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