Striking Port Truckers Want To Be Classified As Employees
Posted: April 29, 2015 by laborradioShort-haul drivers are on strike against four companies at the ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, and San Diego. They’re demanding that they be reclassified as company employees.
Monica Lopez was at the Port of Long Beach and files this report.
Port truckers in Southern California entered their 3rd day of picketing on Wednesday. They’re striking to be recognized as employees by the companies they drive for.
Right now, drivers like Humberto Canales are classified as independent contractors. That means Canales rents the truck he drives from Pacer Cartage, and pays for it through deductions from his paycheck.
|Port truckers 7-2014. Source: Labor Notes|
[Humberto Canales]: “Hice mil, tres ciento dólares para la compañía para el troque y todo, maintenance for the truck, mantenimiento para el troque, y gaso del troque. y mi cheque salió zero. (“I made one thousand, three hundred dollars for the company, for the truck and everything— maintenance for the truck and gas for the truck. And my check came out to zero.”
Canales’ paycheck stub from early March shows that he worked 48 hours for the week. It also shows a total of $710 and 96 cents in company deductions for truck fuel, license fee, liability, and rental of the truck itself.
Requests for an interview with Pacer’s parent company XPO Logistics were declined. Instead a written statement provided by a Pacer spokesman says their company “believes the vast majority of [drivers] value the significant benefits of operating independently” and the company is “ committed to helping them succeed.”
On Tuesday night, disruption from picketing at the Evergreen terminal in the Port of Los Angeles prompted Evergreen to turn away trucks hauling for the targeted companies.
On Wednesday, Teamsters and striking drivers moved their picket to the Union Pacific transportation center in downtown LA. It’s part of an effort to get the mayors of LA and Long Beach to investigate alleged abuses by the struck companies.
Monica Lopez, Workers Independent News, Long Beach.
XPO Logistics is spending $3.5 billion to buy a French company even as XPO fights truck drivers in court to avoid reimbursing them for $2 million in illegal paycheck deductions.