Trucker dispute at Western ports
LOS ANGELES (AP) – A labor dispute is once again threatening to disrupt business at some West Coast ports.
Union officials say truck drivers who haul goods from the nation’s busiest port complex in Southern California could stay off the job next week as part of a long-running labor dispute. The action could disrupt business at the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles as soon as Monday, after an expected vote this weekend.
It won’t be clear until next week how many of the drivers stay away. About 16,000 drivers work at the ports, most of them independent contractors for trucking companies. The truckers say they face shrinking wages and want to become employees of the trucking companies, which they say would mean better wages and workplace protections.
Earlier this year, tough contract negotiations with dockworkers nearly closed 29 seaports from San Diego to Seattle, causing major delays in the delivery of billions of dollars of imports and exports.