March 24, 2014 11:00 AM, EDT

Pacific 9 Transport, Teamsters Reach Settlement on Organization Effort

Tim Rue/Bloomberg News

Pacific 9 Transportation, a Los Angeles-area port trucker, and the Teamsters have reached a settlement agreement that bars the carrier from penalizing drivers who support the union’s effort to organize them.

The deal was publicized on the website of the Teamster union, which has been conducting a long-running campaign to organize drayage drivers in Southern California.

In the settlement agreement, Pacific 9 agreed to post a statement at its Carson, Calif., headquarters saying that workers have the right to form or join a union, choose a bargaining representative or choose not to engage in those activities. The settlement also specifies that Pacific 9 does not admit to a violation of the National Labor Relations Act.

In addition, the statement says “we will not do anything to prevent you from exercising above rights” and “we will not threaten you with closure of the facility and loss of your job if you choose to be represented by or support a union.”

The union said the settlement agreement paves the way for Pac 9 truckers to form a union by classifying them as employees, which was the union’s contention in the labor dispute.

Pac 9 did not respond to requests for comment from Transport Topics.

Curtis Whalen, who heads American Trucking Associations’ Intermodal Motor Carriers Conference, said the settlement was not a precedent that could broaden the union’s organizing effort.

The settlement, he said, applies only to Pac 9.

However, he also said, “We will continue to see more of this kind of activity.”

To date, the union’s largest success has been with U.S. workers at Toll Brothers, an Australian company whose workers are union members in their home country.

The settlement agreement issued by the NLRB said the Teamsters’ allegations in the case relate solely to threats by the company to shut down if a union organizing effort succeeds.

The settlement specifies that Pacific 9 does not admit to a violation of the National Labor Relations Act.