Thursday, January 31, 2013

Inspired by Toll victory, 2nd group of port drivers ready to join Teamsters

Ready to fight for their union: Port truck drivers at American Logistics International.
A second group of truck drivers at the Port of Los Angeles/Long Beach is officially kicking off its fight to join the Teamsters. Delegates for 85 port drivers at American Logistics International hand-delivered a letter to their boss late yesterday afternoon telling him the news.

The drivers were inspired to action by the amazing first contract won late last year by fellow port drivers, Teamster members who work for the Australian multinational Toll Group. Now, more of the thousands of port workers at LA/Long Beach are gearing up to fight for their union.

Teamsters International Vice President Fred Potter said word had spread quickly around the port about the Teamsters' first contract with Toll. Potter, who is also head of the Teamsters Port division, said his phone was ringing off the hook after the contract was signed. Workers, he said, finally believed they had the power to improve their lives.

The Toll contract was the first union contract signed by port drivers since trucking was deregulated in 1980.

The contract gives Toll drivers a $6-an-hour raise and, for the first time, a pension, affordable health care, job security and clean restrooms. They are now eager to go out and tell other port workers, 'You can do this, too,' Potter said. 

American Logistics International is based in Carson, Calif.