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Latest port driver strike at Ports of LA/Long Beach ties up cargo
Late last month, port truck drivers and warehouse workers serving the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach expanded their protests against false classification as independent contractors and alleged wage theft. (see, “Port truck drivers, gig-economy workers have much in common“)
The California Cartage family of companies bore the brunt of the action with workers from K&R Transportation, California Cartage Express, Container Freight, and Orient Tally walking off their jobs for 48 hours from October 25 through 27. In addition, drivers from Intermodal Bridge Transport, owned by China COSCO Shipping, one of the world’s largest ocean carriers, went on strike for the fifth time just as a landmark National labor Relations Board trial over Unfair Labor Practice charges of misclassification violating workers’ concerted protected rights resumed. The Administrative Law Judge denied the company’s request to suspend the trial because of the strike, allowing the trial to come to completion after nearly six weeks of testimony.
This strike came during the peak shipping season for transporting imported products destined for retail stores and e-commerce fulfillment centers.  A recent lawsuit filed by a handful of disgruntled drivers did not stop several major marine terminals and warehouses from turning away trucks from these companies on strike.
In order to avoid picket lines that could disrupt their overall operations by delaying the entry and exit of trucks and thereby cause costly congestion, five marine terminals at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the Yusen Logistics trans loading facility in Carson handling Target Corp. products, and the Michael Kors distribution center in Whittier refused to allow California Cartage companies and Intermodal Bridge Transport trucks from entering their facilities. Three other marine terminals that allowed entry of these company’s trucks were subject to round-the-clock picket lines by striking workers causing extensive delays and severe congestion.
Fourteen strikes by port drivers and warehouse workers in three years should be a warning that innovative ideas are stuck. Who is going to come up with a solution?



California Cartage fined by Cal/OSHA…again

Less than a year after being cited by Cal/OSHA and fined $24,000 for hazardous working conditions, California Cartage and its staffing agency, CORE Employee Management, were cited and fined for repeated serious safety violations, including poor maintenance of forklift brakes and tires, dangerous operation of forklifts into unsecured shipping containers, and driving forklifts across unstable dock plates and ramps.
The fines against California Cartage almost tripled to $67,150 while CORE was fined an additional $51,275.  True innovators generally pay attention to details, including providing a safe workplace for employees.

Ports of LA and Long Beach announce Clean Truck Program 2.0  

Controversies over noncompliance with the China Shipping and TraPac settlements this past year helped spur the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to jointly unveiled an update to the ports’ Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) with a central feature being a new Clean Truck Program 2.0.
As a part of the proposed plan, over sixty percent (60%) of the existing registered fleet of trucks serving the ports will need to be replaced within the next three years or be subject to paying a fee that will be used to subsidize the purchase of zero-emission trucks.
The details of the proposed plan are the following:
2018: All port trucks that are 10 years or older will be subject to a fee (zero/near-zero emission trucks will be exempt from the fee).
2020: All trucks must meet the Federal 2010 engine emission standard.
2023: New trucks entering the Ports Drayage Truck Registry must meet the Federal standard.
2035: All trucks serving the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach must be zero emissions.
Stay tuned for more details as this debate progresses…