Miami-Dade County and Universal Terminal Service Corp. have
dropped lawsuits they filed against the leaders of a trucker’s strike that shut
down the Port of Miami-Dade in June 2004.
However, The Miami Herald reported that the claim of
a third party, Port of Miami Terminal Operating Co., remains active pending
court-ordered mediation with the drivers.
The truckers, represented by the not-for-profit Support
Trucking Group, told the Herald that – while they are relieved that the
suits had been dropped – they are still experiencing problems at the port
including long wait times, overweight containers and pollution.
For it’s part, the Florida county issued a memo stating that
it would work with truckers to help resolve the problems. The port is already
setting up a system that will randomly weigh containers leaving the terminals
in an effort to determine the extent of the overweight container problem.
The lawsuit stemmed from a strike by 700 owner-operators in
June 2004. The truckers said the port operators were not doing enough to speed
up wait times. Drivers were only paid $50 per container hauled, so each hour of
extended wait time was one less container they could haul.
The Port of Miami Operating Co., however, said that truckers
who didn’t make sure their containers had cleared U.S. Customs were to blame
for the wait times.
The truckers brought traffic at the port to a near-total
stop for two weeks, until a federal judge ordered an end to the strike in July
– By Terry Scruton, senior writer