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Following Misclassification Victory, Port of L.A. and Long Beach Teamsters Land Contract


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One month after becoming properly classified as employees by their company, Shippers Transport Express (STE) truck drivers at the Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach have ratified their first contract.  Three days of collective bargaining led to a contract over the weekend.

The one-year contract will cover all full- and part-time STE drivers.  The drivers will receive a pay increase of $3 (from $18 to $21), retroactive to January 9th, as well as overtime pay of $30.50 for hours worked over 40. Drivers will also gain full medical insurance for themselves and their families.  

According to Teamsters Local 848, the newly ratified contract will give the drivers retirement security, paid leave of eight holidays and four sick days, and the right to a proper grievance process for conflict resolution.  The contract also prevents management from firing employees without just cause, meaning the drivers no longer work “at will.”

Prior to January 1, 2015 STE drivers we classified as independent contractors.  This misclassification, which is rampant throughout the drayage and trucking industries, allowed the company to illegally cut labor costs by shifting financial burdens such as insurance onto workers.  Many misclassified drivers are also on the hook for the everyday costs of maintaining their vehicles.  The court order which forced STE to classify its truckers as employees sent a shockwave through the industry.  Truckers at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach had been holding labor actions throughout 2014 to expose their cause and demand action.  Many other cases have been resolved or are in the process of being so around the country.

Kevin Baddeley, General Manager, Shippers Transport Express, said:

“With so much uncertainty at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, we are grateful to have a solid contract – and certain labor peace – in place.  We believe this contract helps pave the way for the future direction of the drayage industry. And Shippers is hiring, so spread the word.”

Alfonso Quezada, one of three drivers who served on the contract bargaining committee, said of the contract: “Shippers drivers have a solid new Teamster contract because we stuck together.  Now I can take my kids to the doctor without worrying how I’m going to pay for it.”


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