LOS ANGELES – A week-long strike by truck drivers and warehouse workers at the port complex at Los Angeles/Long Beach ended Friday in a rally on the steps of Los Angeles City Hall.
Striking workers “and their allies” then proceeded into Los Angeles City Hall to deliver nearly 10,000 petition signatures calling on officials of Los Angeles and Long Beach to “end indentured servitude at the ports they oversee,” according to www.JusticeforPortDrivers.org, a site carrying the Teamsters’ port division logo.
The drivers and warehouse workers ended their strike and made “unconditional offers to return to work at their places of employment,” the JusticeforPortDrivers.org group stated. Truck drivers and warehouse workers, with the support of the Teamsters, have been on strike since Monday morning to protest what they claim is misclassification by their employers and other compensation-related issues.
"… One of the most insidious corporate schemes is to misclassify employees as ‘independent contractors’ to dodge payroll taxes, lower wages, avoid paying benefits to workers, and to evade the laws that protect American employees,” said Fred Potter, vice president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and director of the Teamsters port division. This is the 15th strike by drivers in the last four years, he said.
“My boss says I don’t work for the company, that I’m not their employee. That’s ridiculous. I only work for them, I don’t have my own customers, and dispatch tells me where to go when,” said Domingo Avalos, XPO Cartage, a division of XPO Logistics.
“We know firsthand that the majority of owner-operators prefer to work as independent contractors, and we will continue to advocate for their right to do so,” said a company spokesman for XPO Logistics.