Drivers picket trucking firms and strike at Southern California ports

Drivers picket trucking firms and strike at Southern California ports

San Francisco: Truck drivers who work three Southern California ports were on picket lines on Monday morning after voting for strike action at the weekend.

Drivers say they are unhappy at being classified as independent operators rather than employees of trucking firms, as this means they earn less income, lack some benefits and miss out on some workplace protections.

The action involves picket lines at targeted trucking firms and a reduction in the number of drivers working the ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach and San Diego.

It comes with US West Coast ports still trying to shake off the negative publicity of months of slowdowns related to labour disagreements. That dispute affected 29 ports along the Pacific coast.

Initially the picket lines on Monday were outside four specific trucking firms but with the possibility of lines also at the terminals if trucks from those firms reach the ports. Roughly 200 of the 500 drivers associated with the four firms were picketing on Monday.

Some other firms struck deals with drivers before Monday and avoided being picketed.

The strikers, whose action is backed by the Teamsters union, would not say on Monday how long the action would last.

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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