LONG BEACH (CBSLA.com) — Officials say deliveries into and out of the Port of Los Angeles were unaffected by a work stoppage by drivers from a pair of trucking companies.
Officials with Total Transportation Services Inc. (TTSI) and Pacific 9 Transportation (Pac 9) say drivers were back on strike to protest what they claim are “severe and continuing labor law violations” following a similar walkout back in July.
In response to that five-day strike, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti brokered a “cooling off” period, which included a deal with port companies to accept all drivers back to work without retaliation.
But drivers say despite agreements with Garcetti, port companies have “dramatically escalated retaliatory activity” by allegedly firing dozens of drivers for refusing to withdraw their claims of wage theft and alleged illegal deductions from driver paychecks.
Between 10 to 20 protesters were seen picketing at four of the Port’s nine terminals, but there was no disruption to the flow of commerce, according to Port of Los Angeles spokesman Phillip Sandfield.
As of Thursday morning, the picketers were having a “minimal” impact on port operations, Sandfield said.
Garcetti told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO KNX he doesn’t expect longshoremen to team up with the truckers and shut down the port complex.
“Longshore workers aren’t talking about a massive strike at all right now,” said Garcetti. “This is about the truck drivers making a statement over this weekend, making sure that their concerns are addressed.”
The mayor also acknowledged that “many companies” involved in the port business are currently in violation of labor laws.
It wasn’t immediately clear how a long-term strike would affect operations at the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach – through which more than 40 percent of U.S. imports are moved – just weeks before the Christmas shopping season kicks into high gear.
There was no immediate comment on the labor action from port officials.