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One by one, 38 truckers who service the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach pulled up in front of the California Labor Commissioner and made their pitch to be classified as employees, not independent contractors, and be reimbursed for lost wages. This month, it was announced, they all won.
The California Labor Commissioner ruled in favor of 38 drivers who claimed that drayage company Pacific 9 Transportation misclassified them as independent contractors, awarding the drivers a total of $6.9 million in stolen wages, with an average individual award of $182,270.
A port trucking firm in Carson has been ordered to turn over nearly $7 million in back pay to 38 drivers, the latest in a series of recent wins for port drivers and the Teamsters union that has been trying to organize them.
Port truck drivers keep America moving.
From our shores to every store, port drivers are the first or last leg of the journey for what becomes the clothes on our backs, the food on our table, the shoes on our feet, plus the few remaining products we ship overseas. Stuck in the shadows until now, port drivers are fighting back against mistreatment and misclassification. Forced to pay for their bosses’ business costs like fuel, truck lease payments, liability insurance, even parking – you name it the cost is deducted from their paychecks – means some weeks drivers have to literally pay to work, creating modern-day sweatshops, just on wheels. We all pay the cost: tired drivers means unsafe roads; old and poorly maintained trucks means polluted unhealthy air; and industry tax fraud means taxpayers pick up the tab. Support the courageous effort America’s port drivers are making to bring back good jobs, safe roads and healthy air.