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Most striking Southern California port truckers end their action after four days

Most striking Southern California port truckers end their action after four days

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Los Angeles: The majority of striking Southern California port truckers ended their stoppage  and picket action against three of four targeted trucking firms on Friday.

The drivers, who had been protesting to draw attention to their status as “contractors” rather than the preferred “employees”, had been picketing the four truck firms who service the ports of Los Angeles, and Long Beach since Monday. Some of the striking drivers had worked the Port of San Diego, too.

They claim the contract worker designation deprives them of pay, benefits and workplace protections. And they maintain the law is on their side after a recent ruling provisionally upheld another ruling from last year which found that the drivers are being wrongly misclassified to their detriment.

Spokespeople for the Teamsters Union, which backed the drivers’ actions, did not say if any concessions on the core issue had been wrung out of the three trucking firms – Pacer Cartage, Harbor Rail Transport and Intermodal Bridge Transport – who were being let off the hook.

Nor did they say why actions would go on against the lone firm Pacific 9 Transportation, whose offices in Carson would continue to be picketed.

All action through the four days had been away from the port areas as port authorities had dissuaded the four truck firms from sending vehicles to the harbour in order to avoid the risk of picketing inside the terminals.

That meant that the picketing had occurred only at sites associated with the trucking firms – mainly offices, yards and warehouses.

There was little disruption to cargo shipments during the four days as the four firms’ fleets account for fewer than 500 of the 13,600 trucks hauling cargo in and out of the L.A.-Long Beach harbour complex, America’s busiest.

The union said it had succeeded in drawing attention to its cause and reserved the right to enact further stoppages if necessary.

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Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.

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