Drayage drivers strike three companies in Los Angeles/Long Beach
Drivers from three drayage firms began what they are calling an “unfair labor practice strike” at truck yards and marine terminals at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach Monday morning.
The group Justice for Port Truckers, part of the Teamsters Port Division, said, “These unfair labor practice strikes are the fourth such strikes in the past eleven months, and are a dramatic escalation from prior actions, which, like many other low-wage worker strikes over the past year, were 24-48 hours in duration.” It said the current strike would be “indefinite” and “widespread.”
The three firms being targeted are Green Fleet, TTSI and Pacific 9 Transportation.
“These escalating actions come as the drayage industry is growing increasingly desperate and retaliatory, doing everything it can — including unending retaliation in flagrant violation of U.S. labor laws — to hold onto a business model that relies on independent contractors," the Teamsters complained.
Spokesmen for both the Port of Long Beach and Port of Los Angeles said the drayage driver protest has not affected port terminal operations.
Phillip Sanfield, a spokesman for the Port of Los Angeles, said as of 8:45 a.m., port operations were continuing normally. Lee Peterson, a spokesman for the Port of Long Beach, also said the port had not been affected by the protests. But he also noted that four of the port's six container terminals were closed because of the International Longshore and Warehouse
Union's observance of "Bloody Thursday." That ILWU holiday commemorates July 5, 1934, a day in which two men were killed during a 1934 port strike.
The protests come just days after a contract between the ILWU expired on July 1.
Last fall, ILWU protesters briefly honored a picket line put up by drayage drivers, but returned to work when an arbitrator ruled the picket line was not bona fide.
According to an email sent out to members of the Airforwarders Association, the group's executive director, Brandon Fried, noted the possibility that the strike could affect the International Longshore and Warehouse Union negotiations.
"This raises the possibility that members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union may choose not to cross the picket lines creating a work disruption on West Coast Docks despite ongoing contract negotiations," he wrote.
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