As West Coast ports continue to recover from the cargo backed up during the final four months of contract negations between the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, driver union members began picketing four trucking companies serving LA’s and Long Beach’s ports, demanding they be reclassified as employees and not independent contractors.

One Los Angeles area drayage firm has deterred a Teamsters strike while driver union members began picketing four other trucking companies serving LA’s and Long Beach’s ports demanding they be reclassified as employees and not independent contractors.

On April 27, Green Fleet Systems and the Teamsters announced a comprehensive labor peace agreement. Both said this allows business to continue, but ensures driver rights under the National Labor Relations Act, including selecting a collective bargaining representative.

The Teamsters say they are picketing trucks from the non-union Intermodal Bridge Transport, Pacific 9 Transportation, Pacer Cartage and Harbor Rail Transport as they enter port terminals, regional rail yards and customer warehouses from Mira Loma to the Mexican border.

Some Teamsters-affiliated drivers picketed LA area ports April 27 over their classification as contractors.
Long Beach port CEO Jon Slangerup described their activity as “informational picketing.” No decrease in productivity is anticipated and truckers have been able to enter and exit without delay, he said.
“To be clear, this is not a strike,” Slangerup said.

The union demands that independent contractors at the four firms be reclassified as employees. In 2012, drivers filed wage and hour claims with the California Department of Labor Standards Enforcement and began suing for wage theft and misclassification.

Over the next two years, they instituted strikes to protest alleged labor law violations. The drivers also began a petition drive for LA’s and LB’s mayors to “to put an end to lawbreaking for for-profit” at LA’s and LB’s ports.

Meanwhile, West Coast ports are recovering from the cargo backlogged accumulated during the final four months of contract negations between the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. The dockworkers and port employers reached a tentative agreement on a five-year contract Feb. 20.

The union is in the process of ratifying that agreement, which will conclude with a final vote tally May 22. 

 

Original article by Jill Dunn posted on CCJ Digital April 27, 2015