LA, Long Beach Port Truck Drivers On Strike Again Monday Against Misclassification And Wage Theft
Port Truck Drivers are back on the picket lines this week at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, California. Beginning Monday, this is the 15th strike since 2014 by drivers who are fed up with the abuse and exploitation of years of systematic wage theft and misclassification of drivers as independent contractors.
Nick Weiner is Campaign Director of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters’ Justice for Port Drivers Campaign:
[Nick Weiner]: “They’re required to lease or purchase a truck, but they show up every day for work at one company that tells them what to do, where to go, has complete control over their work and what they’re paid…so they are employees. Their employers deduct all their business expenses out of their paychecks. The cost of fuel, the cost of insurance, the cost to maintain the truck…[sometimes the cost of parking the truck on the company’s lot, for the company’s trucks that they have to lease and then lease back]. So, I’ve seen too many paychecks where drivers end up with a zero paycheck, or even a negative paycheck, so they actually had to pay to work that week. It’s really a form of sharecropping, just on wheels.”
The teamsters have helped hundreds of drivers to gain recognition as employees, with union contracts, health care and pensions, but Weiner says there are still thousands that continue to be misclassified while trucking companies dig in their heels.
[Nick Weiner]: “There’s an important role to play for the ports to step up and be part of the solution, instead of turning a blind’s-eye to what’s been going on for far too long.”