Tuesday, August 27, 2013

LA port truck drivers continue strike to end retaliation

Port truck drivers escalate pickets at 5 am today in Carson, Calif.
L.A. port truck drivers are standing strong this morning against their abusive employer, Green Fleet Systems, as they continue their 24 hour unfair labor practice strike. The strike began at 5 pm yesterday when workers walked off the job in protest of Green Fleet’s unlawful retaliation against them. They are fighting for respect, dignity, and a living wage through a union contract with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

Drivers are picketing outside Green Fleet System’s headquarters in Carson, Calif., along with their Teamster brothers and sisters. A candlelight vigil last night, led by port drivers and clergy, kept spirits high – as well as hopes that their prayers for justice will be answered.

“We are fighting for the dignity we have earned as hard working men,” said worker. “Today, I hold my head high and stand with my brothers on strike and in our fight for justice at Green Fleet Systems. Together we will get the respect we deserve.”

The strike is getting heavy news coverage. Ricardo Lopez at the Los Angeles Times reported:
Thirty port truck drivers went on strike Monday night at a Carson-based trucking firm, alleging their employer is attempting to thwart their efforts to unionize, organizers said... 
Protesters on Monday began picketing the trucking firm Green Fleet Systems outside its Carson facility, located about eight miles north of the Port of Long Beach.  
Organizers also plan to follow Green Fleet trucks to warehouses and distribution centers in the Inland Empire to picket trucks as they deposit goods at their destinations. 
The port drivers’ daring strike kicks off what is expected to be an intense period of labor unrest among low-wage non-union workers, many of whom are immigrants. Workers across the nation are fed up and rising up to demand dignity and respect. In Los Angeles, port drivers are defending their right to fight for respect and a livable wage, a right that is protected under the law.

The union busting tactics used by Green Fleet are, sadly, typical of corporations that illegally deny workers their rights to keep them at poverty wages. As CEO compensation reaches obscene heights, most jobs created since the end of the 2008 recession pay low wages.

Labor Community Services will distribute food donations for the strikers and their families. The strike will end this afternoon with a mass rally of hundreds of supporters.

Check back this afternoon for an update on the strike.