Independent truckers at the Port of Miami-Dade are caught in a labor dispute that’s keeping them from earning a living.
Tuesday, about 150 truckers blocked the entrance to the port, backing up traffic for hours, according to the Miami Herald. They were protesting a move by unionized port workers who refused to let the drivers transport containers in and out of the port.
Four drivers were arrested, three for obstructing traffic and one for battery on a police officer.
Hundreds of cargo containers that had arrived from the Caribbean and Latin America were stuck at the port. Companies using union labor have filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board, alleging that the International Longshoremen’s Assn – the union representing port workers – is engaging in unfair labor practices.
The union claims that trucks transporting the cargo containers at the Port of Miami must be repaired by union workers. Companies at the port say the union doesn’t have the right to force the truckers to use any particular repair facility, since the truckers own their rigs.
The union says it has safety concerns about the chassis used to transport the containers, saying it has found bald tires and bent frames, among other problems.