Port drivers at LACA Express, QTS, and Win Win Logistics return to work after beginning productive conversations with their employers
Long Beach, CA – Late this afternoon, drivers at QTS Inc., LACA Express, and WinWin Logistics, ended their strike following productive confidential dialogue with the Teamsters and the three companies. The following statement was issued by Mayor Garcetti:
“As requested by Mayor Eric Garcetti, the Teamsters, QTS, Inc., LACA Express, Inc., and WinWin Logistics, Inc. have each separately agreed to continue discussions to resolve outstanding issues between them. All sides have expressed an interest in sitting down and continuing confidential discussions of these issues and challenges facing the drayage industry. QTS Inc., LACA Express, Inc. and WinWin Logistics, Inc. each respect drivers’ right to choice with regard to unionization.”
Like other striking drivers, port truck drivers at QTS Inc., LACA Express, and WinWin Logistics – as well as those at Pacer and Harbor Rail Transport who remain on strike at this hour – are striking to end misclassification as “independent contractors,” a scam that has led to massive wage theft and denied drivers basic workplace protections such as safety and health regulations, disability insurance, workers compensation, and unemployment insurance.
“We are grateful that Mayor Garcetti and the Teamsters have helped to bring our three employers to the table. We simply want to have the rights that all employees have and, for the first time, we have hope that hard work at the ports will pay,” said Ricardo Ceja, a misclassified “independent contractor” from LACA Express who has been on strike since Monday.
Over the past seven days, the port truck driver strike has spread from the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to intermodal rail yards that dispatch cargo to and from warehouses and distribution centers across America. A majority of marine terminals at the Port of Los Angeles have turned away struck trucks, giving hope to striking port truck drivers fighting to change the drayage industry by ending illegal misclassification.
“Striking port drivers are on the front lines of the Teamsters’ fight against the war on workers, including the fight to stop wage theft through misclassification as “independent contractors.” Because of the drivers’ sacrifices, the support of drivers’ allies, and the help of Mayor Eric Garcetti, we are beginning to see change in the drayage industry and we pledge to support the drivers until justice is served,” said Fred Potter, International Vice President, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, and Director, Teamsters Port Division.
These escalating actions come as the drayage industry has grown increasingly desperate and retaliatory; doing everything it can to hold onto a business model that relies on independent contractors. Multiple determinations – by the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) and Employment Development Department (EDD), along with Region 21 of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and a Federal District Court judge – have rendered the industry’s business model illegal.
Port truck drivers work long hours hauling nearly $4 billion worth of cargo every day, yet often receive paychecks below the minimum wage. These professional drivers – who transport imports from American seaports to warehouses, distribution centers, and rail yards for major retailers – are on the front lines of the fight for a fair day’s pay for a hard day’s work. Unwilling to wait for the lawless industry to transform, drivers are rising up to improve their jobs and rebuild the ever diminishing middle-class.
Article curtisey of http://www.justice4ladrivers.net