Jun 03, 2016
Fred Potter, director of the Teamsters Union Port Division, in an interview with AJOT said the Teamsters are calling on the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to “ban trucking companies from Port property when they illegally misclassify truck drivers” as independent contractors.
Potter said that a coalition of drivers and warehouse workers will be attending the June 2nd Los Angeles Harbor Commission meeting and demanding the “Port ban companies who are breaking the law and have been found guilty by the State of California of classifying drivers as contractors when they are in fact employees.”
Potter said the Teamsters are making progress as both the State of California and the National Labor Relations Board find against companies who have illegally misclassified drivers as independent contractors.
Potter said that over 40% of Los Angeles/Long Beach harbor trucking companies are now W-2 companies treating their drivers as employees, paying them wages and benefits and providing workers compensation in case of injury.
Potter said that companies who are complying with the law “are facing an unfair advantage” from the remainder of trucking companies who continue to avoid treating their drivers as employees and so avoid paying drivers decent wages as employees along with the attendant benefits and workers compensation.
“This is an unfair advantage for the companies who continue to misclassify drivers,” Potter said.
Potter related the problem was brought home to him, when he met a harbor truck driver who had three negative paychecks in a row. The combination of paying money for leasing his truck from the company, along with expenses to keep the truck rolling, resulted in more deductions from his paycheck than he was being paid for the driving of the truck:
“The driver can’t make a living this way,” Potter said.