Port truck drivers with the Carson-based Pacific 9 Transportation (Pac 9) began an indefinite strike Tuesday morning, protesting unsafe working conditions and the classification of drivers as contractors instead of employees, resulting in what they say are stolen wages.
The strike began at 6:00AM on Tuesday, July 21, and was scheduled to continue at the Port of Long Beach and Port of Los Angeles terminals.
“The company refuses to recognize us as employees, refuses to provide us with safe and reliable trucks, and refuses to improve our work environment,” said Pac 9 driver Pedro Martinez in a statement.
The drivers have received the support from the Teamsters Union and will also be working with Teamster companies while on strike, including Eco Flow Transportation, Shippers Transport Express, Toll Group and Horizon Lines, according to a press release.
About 10 people were picketing at the Port of Los Angeles Tra-Pac marine terminal, causing "very minor traffic delays on occasion," according to port spokesman Phillip Sanfield.
“Pac 9 drivers have courageously withstood retaliation and mistreatment by their employer for over two years, but these drivers refuse to back down from their fight for justice,” said Fred Potter, Teamsters Port Division Director. “The Teamsters Union continues to support their efforts every step of the way.”
This is the sixth time that Pac 9 drivers have gone on strike to improve working conditions, according to the release.
About 40 port drivers have wage and hour hearings scheduled in the upcoming days before the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, the release stated.
Photos by Stephanie Rivera.
City News Service contributed to this report.