Photo: Teamsters Union

Photo: Teamsters Union

After five days of picketing, the most recent port truck-driver strike has come to an end at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

According to the Teamsters union, drivers from XPO Logistics, Intermodal Bridge Transport (IBT), and Gold Point Transportation as well as Amazon warehouse workers employed by  California Cartage have ended their strike. 

Drivers at Pacific 9 Transportation remain on strike. They had already been on strike before the latest labor flare-up. 

As a result of the strike, the Teamsters said, 14 new drivers filed wage and hour claims valued at $3.5 million with the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement-- including one driver, at RPM Transportation, who "presented evidence of $450,000 in wage theft over a three-year period."

In addition to those 14 most recent claims, there are currently 19 similar claims in the process of being completed and filed.

The claims are all related to what the drivers are calling a job misclassification issue. They argue that drivers have been classified as independent contractors and that prevents them from accessing certain benefits to which a regular employee would be entitled.

There have been several strikes over the same issue in the past few years at Southern California ports.

In this most recent round of strikes, the Los Angeles City Council adopted a resolution calling for all companies that conduct business at the ports complex to comply with federal and state employment labor laws and provide the drivers on strike with proper wage and benefits.

For its part, the Harbor Trucking Association, which represents many carriers that service the ports, contested the idea that these drivers were striking at all, saying that, "a strike by definition requires those picketing to be employees of a company and to be contesting a collective bargaining agreement.”

It also took issue with the strikes taking place on the port complex grounds because the job actions disrupted the activities of companies that were not implicated in the drivers' demands.

There are at least 21 pending class-action lawsuits covering current and former misclassified port truck drivers, according to the Teamsters Union.