Truckers at 2 Calif. ports OK cooling off period

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 12, 2014 at 4:57 pm •  Published: July 12, 2014

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Truck drivers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach agreed Saturday to a cooling-off period following five days of striking that briefly shut the massive ports.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said he requested the cooling-off period, and the truckers agreed Saturday to pull down pickets while the city's harbor commission investigates their allegations of poor working conditions and unfair labor practices.

"The city will facilitate a dialogue among the parties in the weeks ahead," he said in a statement.

The drivers agreed to resume work Monday after three trucking companies agreed to accept all drivers back to work without retaliation and without being forced to sign away all future rights in new truck leases, said Barb Maynard, a spokeswoman for a campaign to organize truckers.

On Monday, 120 drivers began striking against Green Fleet Systems, Total Transportation Services Inc. and Pacific 9 Transportation Inc. They said the companies have prevented them from unionizing and improperly classified them as contractors — rather than full-time employees — to minimize wages and benefits. They say that their paychecks often register below minimum wage once the cost of renting and maintaining a truck is factored in, and they have filed lawsuits and complaints with state and federal labor agencies to change their status.