BUSINESS

Most striking port truck drivers return to work

Striking port truck drivers from three firms return to work; one company still affected

Most of the port truck drivers who walked off the job this week went back to work Friday, ending their four-day job action against companies they accuse of wage theft.

On Monday, organizers said several hundred drivers walked off the job and picketed four companies that serve the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports: Pacific 9 Transportation, Intermodal Bridge Transport, Pacer Cartage and Harbor Rail Transport.

Drivers from three of those companies went back to work Friday, according to the Teamsters union, which is supporting the drivers. Twenty-five drivers from Pacific 9 remain on strike, a Teamsters spokeswoman said.

According to the Teamsters, the job action this week delayed the movement of goods for major retailers because most terminals did not accept trucks from the four companies.

The four companies deploy roughly 3.5% of the trucks registered to serve both ports, according to an L.A. port spokesman. All port terminals remained open throughout the strike.

The job action is the latest in a series of strikes against harbor-area trucking firms.  

The drivers contend that they are improperly classified as independent contractors, leaving them with fewer workplace protections and lower pay than if they were company employees.

Despite long hours, drivers say they often net less than the minimum wage after the companies deduct money for gas, truck leases and other costs.

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