Teamsters Organize Strikes at Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach
This week a Teamsters-organized strike began at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Approximately 100 truck drivers and warehouse workers are picketing the terminals of XPO Logistics, Intermodal Bridge Transport, and California Cartage Company to protest the classification of the drivers and workers as independent contractors. The protests are part of an ongoing effort to reclassify workers as employees, and then to unionize the employees in order to negotiate for improved pay and workplace protections.
Workers have picketed at the southern California ports 14 times in the past four years. Port police are managing the active protest while ensuring that port operations are not disrupted by the picketing drivers. Over 3,000 trucks access the 13 terminals at Los Angeles-Long Beach every day, and the Journal of Commerce reports that the protest has “no widespread impact on cargo handling or access by other motor carriers to marine terminals.”
TIA’s International Logistics Conference closely tracks all issues related to U.S. ports and productivity. TIA recently joined with 120 industry stakeholders in a joint letter encouraging the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union to engage in early contract negotiations. Proactive discussions between labor and management are critical to avoiding a repeat of the 2015-2016 slowdown that occurred at U.S. West Coast ports.