COMMERCE (CBSLA.com) — The picket lines at the Port of Los Angeles expanded to local rail yards Tuesday in an effort to disrupt cargo distribution before Black Friday.
Drivers marched in front of the busy Union Pacific rail yard in Commerce to block trucks from coming and going.READ MORE: LA Launches Program To Accelerate Granny Flat Construction Process
“This is wehere truck drivers can have an impact and put pressure on these companies to sit down and negotiate,” Nick Weiner, Teamsters Campaign Director, said.
Truck drivers at the port have been walking off the job since the summer over their classification as independent contractors. The drivers want better pay and benefits and work place protections.
Drivers have also accused trucking firms of wage theft, which includes at least one instance of a firm charging fees to a driver on leave due to a job-related injury.READ MORE: Woman Shot During Brazen Daylight Robbery At Beverly Hills Restaurant
“The truck drivers are already tired. They’re fed up with the abuse, they’re fed up with the injustice and they’re tired of the disrespect they’re giving us,” driver Alex Paz said.
In all, five trucking companies are affected by the strike.
Nearly half of the United States’ imported goods come through the Port of Los Angeles/Long Beach.MORE NEWS: 150 Railroad Ties Damaged In Fire At Vernon Lumber Yard