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July 10, 2015 10:20 AM, EDT

Eco Flow Votes to Join Teamsters

Teamsters
Port truck drivers from Eco Flow Transportation voted to join the Teamsters, which has backed efforts to convert driver status from independent contractor to employee.

The union and private equity company Saybrook Logistics, which also owns drayage fleet Total Transportation Services Inc., announced the creation of Eco Flow two months ago. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti brokered talks between the parties that were convened amid multiple job actions supported by the union.

A group known as Justice for Port Truckers led the job actions that were designed to force drayage fleets to recognize drivers as employees, which would make them eligible for union membership. The Teamsters have been campaigning for several years to organize port truckers. An estimated 85% of the drivers are contractors.

“I’m committed to making Eco Flow the biggest and the best harbor trucking company at the Ports of L.A. and Long Beach,” Eco Flow driver Alex Paz said in a statement.

“This is a real transformation, not only for our company but for the industry,”  Jonathan Rosenthal, who heads Saybrook Logistics, said when Eco Flow’s formation was announced. “Drayage trucking needs to adapt to the changing trends.”

The vote, which clears the way for the parties to negotiate a contract, was supervised by the National Labor Relations Board.