• ITVI.USA
    16,240.330
    -110.510
    -0.7%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.762
    0.031
    1.1%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.780
    0.120
    0.6%
  • OTVI.USA
    16,233.310
    -109.890
    -0.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.520
    0.380
    12.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.960
    -0.660
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  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.610
    0.250
    18.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.340
    -0.130
    -3.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.100
    -0.250
    -10.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.860
    -0.220
    -5.4%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    -2.000
    -1.6%
  • ITVI.USA
    16,240.330
    -110.510
    -0.7%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.762
    0.031
    1.1%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.780
    0.120
    0.6%
  • OTVI.USA
    16,233.310
    -109.890
    -0.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.520
    0.380
    12.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.960
    -0.660
    -18.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.610
    0.250
    18.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.340
    -0.130
    -3.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.100
    -0.250
    -10.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.860
    -0.220
    -5.4%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    -2.000
    -1.6%
American ShipperWarehouse

Port of LA to consider banning trucking companies from port if drivers aren’t employees

A new council motion aims to direct members of city staff to review the leases of trucking and warehousing companies operating at the port, and look at the feasibility of denying access to companies that are in violation of labor or employment laws.

   Two Los Angeles City Council members have put forward a motion that would effectively bar trucking companies that do not treat their drivers as employees from doing business at the Port of Los Angeles.
   Councilmen Bob Blumenfield, who represents the San Fernando Valley area, which is home to at least a dozen trucking companies, and Joe Buscaino, whose district includes the port and surrounding area, introduced the motion on Oct. 13. The motion aims to direct members of city staff to review the leases of trucking and warehousing companies operating at the port, and examine the feasibility of denying access to companies that are in violation of labor or employment laws.
   “The city of Los Angeles must ensure that all workers who contribute to the operations at the Port of Los Angeles be afforded a safe work environment, fair wages, and guaranteed rights and benefits,” the motion, which does not yet have a scheduled hearing date, states in part.
   The motion is a direct response to the ongoing skirmish between drayage truck drivers and their employers. Truckers argue that they are full-time employees and, as such, deserve better pay and health benefits, while the employers and their representatives continue to insist that the truckers are independent contractors who make their own schedules and work when they please.
   The Teamster-affiliated group, Justice for Port Drivers has been trying for several years to have the truckers legally recognized as employees, which would make them eligible to unionize.
   Although the Port of Los Angeles and neighboring Port of Long Beach have tried to stay out of the controversy, and have repeatedly said that they do not become involved in such labor situations involving tenants and vendors, Councilman Buscaino has championed drivers’ rights, even going as far as to support a five-day strike in June by area truck drivers and warehouse workers against the companies they work for. It was the fifth short-term strike that the Teamsters helped organize in the past four-plus years, according to Justice for Port Drivers.
   The councilmen’s motion would also instruct staff to investigate wage theft claims made by drivers who have said they’ve been cheated out of minimum wage and sick pay by trucking companies operating on port property, since their classification as independent truckers does not entitle them to those benefits, unlike full-time employees.
   Also included in the motion is a directive for staff to explore alternative solutions that can be implemented to enhance employee rights and ensure that companies comply with labor laws.
   There have been a number of prominent legal cases in recent years, including one in late 2015 and another this past April, where officials have ruled that drivers had been misclassified as non-employees and companies were ordered to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in back wages.
   According to data from independent news outlet City News Service, about 1,150 port truck drivers have filed claims in civil court or with the California Department of Industrial Relations’ enforcement arm since 2010, and judges have sided with drivers in more than 97 percent of the cases heard.

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