Friday, February 1, 2013

Whoa! 3rd group of port drivers announce intent to join Teamsters

Organizing for power.
(UPDATES to correct lede to say Port of L.A/Long Beach, sted L.A./Los Angeles.)

A delegation of courageous truck drivers from the Port of L.A./Long Beach Thursday delivered a letter to their boss at Green Fleet Systems. The message: They intend to join the Teamsters.

One day earlier, another group of port truck drivers handed a similar letter to their boss at American Logistics International.

The wave of organizing activity at the ports was inspired by the first contract ratified in December by newly organized Teamster port drivers and the Australian multinational Toll Group. As the first union contract signed since trucking was deregulated in 1980, the historic Toll victory made headlines and created a buzz throughout the ports.

On Thursday, Green Fleet was put on notice about the organizing drive by a delegation of clergy, community activists and drivers. The delegation representing the 136 drivers at the company came face to face with CEO Gary Mooney. Though he tried to refuse the delivery of the letter, he was left with the letter in hand and with no doubt that his workers are ready to win a victory for workers everywhere.

Teamster International Vice President Fred Potter said it won't be easy. Potter, who is also head of the Teamsters Port Division, spoke earlier this year about the Toll victory:
These were courageous workers. We see the enthusiasm the Toll workers have now for going out and spreading the word to other workers to say 'You can do this, too.' The Teamsters will stand behind you, but you need to fight for your rights as well. That's really what this is about. It's a struggle.
Stand strong, brothers and sisters!