UPDATED — After a week of striking at port terminals and businesses across southern California, truckers from all of the affected companies have returned to work.
Though no agreements were made between the striking truckers and their employers regarding their claim of misclassification as independent contractors, the drivers at Intermodal Bridge Transport, Pacer Cartage and Harbor Rail Transport ended their nearly week-long strike. Later in the day on May 1, drivers from Pacific 9 Transportation also agreed to return to work.
“The drivers have been on the picket line all week and they have not been able to earn any income,” said Barb Maynard of Justice for Port Truck Drivers. “They recognize that this is a long fight and they have gone back to work so they can continue to provide for their families.”
The strike may not be over for good, however, as the core issues that prompted the job action were not addressed.
“They fully expect to strike again if their companies don’t classify them as employees,” Maynard added.
The strike was able to disrupt operations at several companies, such as Walmart, Costco, Toyota, General Electric and Target, but port terminals were mostly kept running. The terminals were turning away trucks from the striking companies, which prevented the picketers from causing traffic backups.
The drivers believe they are improperly classified as independent contractors, accusing their employers of wage theft. The issue has come up several times at Southern California ports, leading to strikes and lawsuits. As a result, some companies have reclassified their drivers as full employees.
Updated to include new information on Pac 9 drivers ending the strike later in the day.