July 2, 2017
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Los Angeles, CA – Port of Los Angeles/Long Beach truck drivers and warehouse workers ended a five-day strike with a rally at City Hall June 23.
They delivered petitions with almost 10,000 signatures to Mayor Eric Garcetti and Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, urging them to end “indentured servitude” at the ports. The walkout began June 19, with workers picketing outside truckyards and terminals used by XPO, Cal Cartage, CMI, Intermodal Bridge Transport, and other companies, protesting their classifying port truck drivers as “independent contractors” who don’t have to be paid minimum wage and don’t get any benefits. “My boss says I don’t work for the company, that I’m not their employee,” said XPO Cartage driver Domingo Avalos. “That’s ridiculous. I only work for them, I don’t have my own customers, and dispatch tells me where to go and when. How much longer is this going to be allowed to continue?” About 12,000 nonunion drivers at the ports are classified as independent contractors, which Teamsters Local 952 secretary-treasurer Patrick Kelly calls “sharecropping on wheels.” “The ports are public property, therefore we must demand justice from our elected officials,” he said. Read more
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