Californian ports hit by truckers strike

09 Jul 2014
Operations at Long Beach remain steady but were briefly halted by trucker strikes. Photo: Bruce Perry, Department of Geological Sciences, CSU Long Beach

Operations at Long Beach remain steady but were briefly halted by trucker strikes. Photo: Bruce Perry, Department of Geological Sciences, CSU Long Beach

Operations at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach were temporarily halted yesterday by drayage truck strikes over claims of unfair labour practices.

These strikes, which have been organised by the Justice for Port Drivers group and began earlier this week, are the fourth such strikes in the past 11 months, and are said to be a “dramatic escalation” from prior actions.

In a statement released on its website, the group said: “These escalating actions come as the drayage industry is growing increasingly desperate and retaliatory, doing everything it can – including unending retaliation in flagrant violation of US labour laws – to hold onto a business model that relies on independent contractors.”

Around 120 drivers are thought to be involved in the strike targeting trucking companies Green Fleet Systems, Total Transportation Services and Pacific 9 transportation.

Philip Sanfield, spokesperson for POLA, told Port Strategy: “Basically we’re into day three of the strikes, but we’ve had minimal impact on POLA. However, yesterday, longshoremen honoured the picket lines at three terminals here, but an arbitrator declared they had to go back to work and they did.”

The trucking companies in question represent between 5-10% of all trucks calling at Los Angeles on a daily basis, so operations there should remain steady going forward.

The Port of Long Beach (POLB) was also affected temporarily by longshoremen walking off the job yesterday, but a spokesperson told PS: “Overall, cargo flowed through the port normally, including by truck.”

Justice for Port Drivers said it will continue to strike truck yards and marine terminals indefinitely until it meets with the trucking companies.

“We’re hoping that the parties get together to resolve the issue soon,” Mr Sanfield added.

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