Port Drivers Protest In Oakland
March 3, 2000
Hundreds of port owner-operators and Teamsters demonstrated Friday at the Port of Oakland, CA.
The demonstrators targeted Marine Terminal Services, the largest port operator in the Bay area. The Teamsters claim the company forces drivers to work countless hours without compensation and haul unsafe equipment. Termination drop-off points are often changed without advance notification, according to the Teamsters, and drivers experience extended unpaid delays both in and out of the terminal.
"They have a history of long line waits outside the gate waiting for extended periods of time inside, and of course these port drivers are not paid for that waiting time," said Chuck Mack with the Teamsters Local 70, which organized the rally. "On top of that we have several people that have been banned from the facility, and when that happens it impacts their livelihood."
After the demonstration at Marine Terminal, the drivers went to the Port of Oakland administrative offices and delivered the "Port Trucker Bill of Rights," which outlines demands for better pay, safer equipment and the right to form a union. "We asked the port commission to schedule a hearing so we can bring in the drivers and they can tell the port commission what's going on down on that waterfront," Mack said. "We will ask them to prevail on the shipping companies and the trucking companies to deal with the drivers in a fair fashion."
The demonstration is the latest in a series of Teamsters-organized rallies at ports around the country as the union tries to find a way to organize the independent contractor drayage haulers.