Truck drivers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, North America’s busiest marine cargo hub, began strike and picket action on Monday.
The truckers want a revision of their job status from “independent contractors” because it denies them benefits they would have if classified as “employees”, benefits such as minimum wage, overtime pay and workplace safety protections.
Truckers union the International Brotherhood of Teamsters says that drivers who have filed claims for “wage theft” because of this misclassification have been subjected to retaliation, intimidation and harassment.
The union specified Pacific 9 Transportation and XPO Logistics as trucking firms persisting with the “independent contractors” classification.
Monday’s first day of action saw a relatively small number of picketers (fewer than 20) and no noticeable effect on operations as all the ports’ shipping terminals remained open.