Today, port and rail drivers who claim they have been misclassified as independent contractors at XPO Cartage, part of XPO Logistics Inc., began an “Unfair Labor Practice” strike to protest job classification.
Drivers are picketing XPO facilities in Commerce, Rancho Dominguez, and San Diego, and are picketing at America’s largest port complex, the twin ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach, and the Intermodal Rail Intermodal Container Transfer Facility (ICTF), when XPO trucks attempt to enter marine terminals and the rail yard.
According to the Teamsters Port Division group, the drivers are on strike to protest “unfair labor practices, including misclassification and retaliation, harassment, and intimidation” for having filed claims for wage theft with the California Labor Commissioner’s Division of Labor Standards Enforcement.
“We are here supporting the drivers in their struggle against this illegal misclassification scheme, which denies them of their rights and forces them to live in poverty,” said Fred Potter, a Teamsters Union Vice president and director of the union’s port division. “Despite numerous court victories and other government agencies seeing through this scheme, the companies, including XPO, continue to fight the workers in court and deny these workers the justice they deserve.”
“We’re fed up with working so hard, making so little, and having no benefits,” said Jose Herrera, an XPO port/rail driver. “There’s nothing independent about us—XPO controls our work yet continues to fight us in court.”
“I'm here to exercise my rights as a worker for XPO. When XPO refuses to recognize that we are their employees, they deprive us of our rights. For that reason, I am here fighting today to reclaim the rights we are legally entitled to,” said XPO driver Antonio Herrera.
According to a Long Beach Press Telegram report, about 50 strikers were at the picket lines this morning in front of four container terminals at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Today is the second day of what’s expected to be a five-day strike of about 100 truck drivers.
“Neither port reported a major disruption in service, and cargo continues to flow,” according to the Press Telegram. “The strikers represent only a sliver of the 16,000-plus trucks serving the port.”