Recently, conditions for truckers at the Los Angeles/Long Beach ports have deteriorated to the point where workers are banding together to unionize despite the imminent threat of job loss. As 2012 came to a close, drivers for the Australian Toll Group worked to certify the first union contract for port drivers since deregulation took place in 1980. This Teamsters success story has apparently inspired a second wave of drivers to take similar action and has Teamsters International Vice President Fred Potter’s phone ringing off the hook from other groups looking to unionize.
Teamster Nation reports that 85 port drivers at American Logistics International hand-delivered a letter to their boss last week informing him that they would like to join the Teamsters. If successful, this second contract could constitute a watershed moment in which port workers are newly empowered to fight for their rights.
The Toll Group contract included a $6-an-hour raise, a pension (this was a first), health care, increased job security and clean restrooms.