Jumping ahead of their dockworker counterparts, 120 truck drivers employed by three different drayage companies at the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, chose to strike “indefinitely” claiming extensive workplace violations by their employers. The strike comes at a time when West Coast members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union have been engaged in intense negotiations with the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) over their contract which expired on July 1. PMA is the organization that represents port employers.
The truck driver strike, which is supported by the local Teamsters union, could be a double whammy to West Coast ports should negotiations between dockworkers and their employers go awry, although both sides have jointly agreed to keep cargo moving until an agreement is reached. According to an AP story, the strike could throw a wrench into that agreement, if the truckers decide to picket dockside terminals.
The AP also reports that talks between dockworkers and PMA will be suspended until Friday, July 11th, to allow union representatives the opportunity to attend to another dispute in the Pacific Northwest. The expired dockworkers contract will be reinstated during the hiatus.
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