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Port Truckers Begin Two-Day Strike




The years-long fight of Los Angeles Port truck drivers to be recognized as company employees– instead of “independent contractors” who lack workplace rights and protections – burst into a 48-hour strike this morning. The work stoppage by drivers for four major trucking firms is organized by Justice for Port Drivers and is targeting the marine container terminals at the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Despite winning a string of labor court rulings in wage theft lawsuits, the drivers say they are still misclassified as independent contractors. That misclassification has meant that drivers are denied overtime wages, workers compensation, disability and a host of other benefits, and must pay for the fuel and maintenance of their vehicles. It has also guaranteed that after paycheck deductions, many drivers who work long hours during six-day weeks earn poverty wages.

This is the second strike in six months by drivers, who deliver imported goods to Walmart, Home Depot, Ikea and other retail outlets. While the drivers have compelled a few trucking firms to reclassify them as company employees, Justice for Port Drivers estimates that 82 percent of port truckers work at the whim of companies that have no intention of granting them the most basic of job rights and protections. A media conference featuring strikers, along with faith and community leaders, is scheduled for noon today at Wilmington Waterfront Park.

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