Truck drivers serving the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach plan to strike for a third day today to protest what they believe are unfair labor practices — being treated like independent contractors rather than employees.
Grammy-winning rock musician Tom Morello is expected to perform for the striking truck drivers today at the Evergreen Terminal, 188 Terminal Way.
The drivers’ strike began Monday, when more than 100 truckers refused to work for three trucking companies serving the two ports.
Picket lines spread Tuesday from the trucking yards of Green Fleet Systems, Pac 9 and Total Transportation Services Inc. to six marine terminals. Longshore workers at the Evergreen, APL and Long Beach Container terminals honored the picket lines, briefly shutting down operations, but the dock workers were soon ordered back to work by a federal arbitrator.
The strike was organized by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters’ port division, which is looking to unionize drivers working for the three short-distance hauling firms. Union officials said the companies, which operate roughly 400 trucks at the ports, misclassify their drivers as independent contractors rather than employees.
In addition to the three terminals that were shut down briefly when longshore workers walked off the job, picket lines were also set up at the Hanjin and Yusen terminals, as well as the Intermodal Transportation Facility.
Previous strikes by the truck drivers lasted no more than 48 hours, but no end date has been set for the latest strike, which was called after relations between drivers and the trucking firms grew “nasty,” said Barb Maynard of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters’ Port Division.
About 11,000 truckers typically operate at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, according to port officials.
In a statement released through Alex Cherin, a spokesman for the Harbor Trucking Association, Green Fleet called the strike a “distraction” and the work of “outside interest groups” who have “again decided to block the rights of these drivers to go to work and earn a living.”
Maynard said that while most Green Fleet drivers are employees, some of the independent contractors they do retain were fired after they filed complaints with the state alleging wage theft.