By Charlie Morasch, Land Line contributing writer | Tuesday, November 03, 2015
A strike by port drivers working for three port motor carriers at the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach has ended. Labor organizers, however, say a dispute over the classification of drivers as independent contractors rolls on.
A five-day driver strike and picket at XPO Logistics, Intermodal Bridge Transport and Gold Pint Transportation ended late last week according to Justice for Port Drivers organization, which is backed by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
Drivers from Pacific 9 Transportation are remaining on strike, the group says.
Justice for Port Drivers issued a news release Oct. 30, saying the strike ending at those three carriers coincides with the filing of 12 new wage and hour claims with the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement.
Justice for Port Drivers has said workers who are misclassified as independent contractors are prevented from receiving basic employee rights, including minimum wage and overtime income.
The 14 drivers say they are owed $3.5 million, including one driver at RPM Transportation who says he is owed $450,000 in wage theft repayment from a three-year period. The news release states an additional 19 claims are in the process of being filed.
The California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement is weighing $60 million for 550 claims currently pending.
Fred Potter, international vice president and director of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Port Division, signaled the battle is far from over.
“It is obvious to us that the retailers and the terminals that are supporting low road trucking companies that illegally misclassify their employees as ‘independent contractors’ by doing business with them have little regard for workers’ rights,” Potter said, according to a news release. “We call on the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, America’s retailers, and the terminal operators to stop doing business with law-breaking companies. The Teamsters are committed to stopping the misclassification of workers, and will continue to support the port truck drivers on the front lines of ending wage theft.”
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