Port truck drivers for Pacific 9 Transportation in California have settled their differences against their carrier in a labor dispute, giving them employee rights, including the right to form a union.
A settlement agreement between the Teamsters Union and Pacific 9 Transportation, brokered by the National Labor Relations Board regional office in Los Angeles, puts an end to a dispute between the two parties over whether the fleet wrongly classified drivers as independent contractors rather than employees.
According to the group supporting the drivers, the Teamsters-backed Justice for Port Truck Drivers, the settlement is recognition that Pacific 9 port truckers were subjected to “unlawful retaliation for exercising their legal rights to organize a union,” according to a release. However, the settlement does not include Pacific 9 Transportation admitting to any wrongdoing.
Pacific 9 drivers have filed more than 50 wage and hour claims with the California Labor Commissioner and went on strike in November 2013 in protest of unfair labor practices. They were joined in a 36-hour protest by drivers of Green Fleet Systems and American Logistics International, also located in Carson, just north of Long Beach.
Pac 9’s business practices have also attracted the attention of the Tax Division of the California Employment Development Department for misclassifying drivers and failing to pay unemployment and workers compensation taxes, according to the group.
The ruling from the NLRB regional office could affect the entire port trucking industry, the groups says, “reshaping a structure that currently leaves many of America’s port drivers working full time yet earning less than minimum wage.”