Today, truck drivers at the Port of Long Beach (POLB) and Port of Los Angeles began their eighth strike in two years, according to a release issued by the Teamsters union this morning.
Starting at 6:00AM today, the truck drivers are again picketing two drayage firms over accusations of wage theft and employee misclassification.
According to the release, employees misclassified as “independent contractors” by Pacific 9 Transportation (Pac 9) have been on indefinite strike since July and are continuing their picketing.
Other employees of XPO logistics are striking as well, protesting “unfair labor practices, including misclassification and retaliation, harassment, and intimidation for having filed claims for wage theft with the California Labor Commissioner’s Division of Labor Standards Enforcement,” according to the release.
The picketing comes 18 months after Region 21 of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced a settlement agreement with the Pac 9 drivers that paved the way to unionization. In that now-withdrawn settlement agreement, illegally misclassified Pac 9 drivers were recognized as legal employees.
After an extensive investigation, the Region determined there was sufficient evidence that Pac 9’s “independent contractor” drivers are employees and are entitled to federal labor law protections under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). According to the release, as a result, NLRB Region 21 found that Pac 9 drivers have been subjected to unlawful retaliation and threats for exercising their legal rights to organize a union.
“The owners of Pac 9 violated their own settlement agreement with the NRLB and they’ve continued to steal my wages,” said Pedro Martinez, a striking Pac 9 driver, in a statement made earlier this year. “Enough is enough, so I’m on strike indefinitely.”