Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Hoffa joins port truck drivers on SoCal picket line

Teamsters General President Hoffa speaks during press conference.
Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa joined scores of striking port truck drivers at the Port of Long Beach in California today in calling out the labor practices of two trucking companies that continue to cheat workers of fair pay and treatment.

Hoffa walked the picket line during the second day of an unfair labor practice walkout against Pacific 9 Transportation and XPO Logistics, which have continually engaged in misclassification, retaliation, harassment and intimidation against their workers for having filed wage theft claims with the California Labor Commissioner's Division of Labor Standards Enforcement.

Hoffa said:
We have already organized hundreds of port drivers. We have a lot of work to do. Yesterday I sat down with 40 drivers – and they told me how there is no dignity, favoritism, no seniority, and that it has got to end. Most of America doesn’t understand what independent contractors are. Wage theft ends here today.
Workers walk the picket line at the Port of Long Beach.
Port truck drivers in Southern California and other locations such as Savannah, Ga. are on the front lines of the fight to end misclassification. While these drivers haul the nation's largest retailers' cargo so those companies can profit, the men and women who transport these containers off the docks to nearby rail yards, distribution centers and warehouses are denied employee rights. That's why the Teamsters has and will continue to stand at their side.

After all, misclassification doesn't just hurt the workers and their families, it effects all Americans through pervasive and wide scale tax fraud that robs schools, roads and public safety services of billions in essential resources.

The plight of port truck drivers is being heard, however. Earlier this month, Local 848 member Alex Paz attended a White House forum and spoke out against wage theft. He told attendees how before he was hired as a full-time worker, he often didn't earn enough to support his family.