LOS ANGELES — Dozens of port truckers, members of the Teamsters union and others, picketed Intermodal Bridge Transport April 27. “We’re fighting because we’re misclassified as owner-operators instead of employees,” José Antonio Portillo told the Militant on the picket line. Portillo has worked as a truck driver there for seven years.
Picket lines were organized at four trucking yards — Intermodal Bridge Transport, Pacific 9 Transportation, Pacer Cartage and Harbor Rail Transport. This is the sixth strike organized by port truckers here in the last 18 months.
“I have 14 years with IBT,” Martín Rosales told the Militant. “We don’t have benefits or medical services. We pay diesel, insurance, lease. More than 10 percent of what we gross goes to truck insurance.” “We have tried to organize a union here but have never been able to,” he said. “If we don’t win we know they may fire us because they did it to drivers at TTSI.”
After a five-day strike last July Total Transportation Services Inc. fired 35 strikers. Workers struck there again in November.
But workers can win, Rosales said. Port truckers at Shippers Transport Express scored a victory Jan. 9 when the company agreed to recognize Teamsters Local 848, reclassifying its drivers as employees effective Jan. 1. “Shippers Transport is 100 percent union,” he said.