Port truckers in Los Angeles and Long Beach voted unanimously to agree to a “cooling off” period July 12, and will begin working regular shifts. This is according to an announcement by the union representing the drivers, Justice for Port Truck Drivers (JPTD), a Teamsters-backed union.
Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles, requested the break, and the truckers consented as the three carriers involved in the strikes agreed to accept the drivers back to work without penalties or retaliation, according to JPTD.
Drivers for carriers Green Fleet Systems, Total Transportation Services and Pacific 9 Transportation walked off the job last Monday and began picketing. Their grievances included wage dissatisfaction and poor working conditions. They were also unhappy with their classification as contractors instead of full-time employees.
These same carriers had been the targets of three previous short-term strikes in the past year.
The union is fighting the companies for recognition as regular employees rather than as independent contractors. The group’s Justice for Port Drivers Hardship Fund has raised $50,000 to support the strikers.
Pac 9 drivers are scheduled for a wage theft hearing before the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, while Green Fleet Systems is set for oral arguments Aug. 25 before the National Labor Relations Board.
The Los Angeles NLRB vacated Green Fleet’s informal settlement with the union because it said the company repeatedly violated it by illegally attempting to interfere with unionization efforts.
The International Longshore & Warehouse Union and Pacific Maritime Association agreed to resume negotiations at 8 a.m. July 11, leaving 20,000 West Coast dock workers working under their previous six-year contract, which is expired.
The Port Authority says there have been no cargo traffic disruptions during the strike; even though the Teamsters charge the three carriers have violated labor laws and interfered with unionization efforts. POLA officials said a handful of protesters were present at two container terminals and two other cargo container terminals were closed for reasons unrelated to the dispute. “Ships continue to be worked at those terminals,” they stated.
Green Fleet contends that most of its drivers are not pro-union. Owner-operators are a minority of the carrier’s port truckers. You can learn more via the Los Angeles Times.