Your Dec. 23 Pre-Trip: Port truckers win millions in back pay

Here are five things worth knowing today:

1. Port truck drivers at Pacific 9 Transportation in Carson, CA, just won millions in back pay from the trucking firm, the Los Angeles Times reports. Pacific 9 has been ordered to turn over nearly $7 million in back pay to 38 drivers after the state Labor Commissioner’s Office ruled that the drivers were improperly treated as independent contractors rather than employees. The LA Times has more.

2. Logistics firms have partnered with global and conservation organizations to combat illegal wildlife trade, Supply Management reports. According to the report, members of the United for Wildlife transport task force signed up to 11 commitments to stop the transportation of illegal wildlife products. In addition, a partnership of economic and wildlife experts will conduct a study into China’s illegal trade in ivory to see how a ban might impact trade in the region and poaching in Africa. According to the report, a complete ban would stop the killing of 35,000 elephants annually.

3. City Lab has compiled a list of big transportation to watch out for in 2016. From the enormous Panama Canal expansion, an intercity rail tunnel connecting New York and New Jersey, to the teardown and replacement of Seattle’s Alaskan Way Viaduct, City Lab has some major transportation projects to keep an eye on in the coming year.

4. Google and Ford have teamed up to build autonomous vehicles, Beta News reports. The partnership is expected to be officially announced by Ford at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. According to the report, the partnership could help accelerate the development and adoption of self-driving cars that are powered by Google’s technology. Beta News has more.

5. Reuters reports that global demand for OPEC’s crude oil will be lower in 2020 than next year as supply from rivals becomes more resilient than expected. According to the report, oil has more than halved its price in 18 months and sank to an 11-year low of $36.04 a barrel this week. Reuters has more.

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