Truck drivers, warehouse workers go on strike at Port of Los Angeles

It's a strike then. Truck drivers and warehouse workers from several companies serving the Long Beach and Los Angeles ports have gone on strike to protest being classified as independent contractors. The workers say the companies are scheming to deny them the compensation they're due. 

Workers began picketing their place of employment starting Monday with workers standing outside facilities in Commerce and "all marine terminals on both the LA and Long Beach side." Picketing has also been expanded to the Intermodel Container Transfer Facility-Port of Los Angeles. 

Barb Maynard, a representative for the truckers and workers on strike, said in a statement this morning that they're starting to hear that "the terminals are telling them not to  come to the ports to avoid picket lines that disrupt the free flow of cargo."

The workers and truckers who went on strike work for some of the largest companies that serve the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. They say they're protesting "exploitation by greedy corporations using predatory subcontracting schemes, including misclassifying employees as independent workers in order to lower  wages, deny them benefits such as health insurance, unemployment, and workers' compensation.''

The striking drivers say the underpayment schemes are aimed at boosting their CEO's compensation. 

"Over the past 10 years, CEO pay has increased 997 percent, driven in  part by companies subcontracting out work. One of the most insidious corporate  schemes is to classify employees as `independent contractors','' according to the statement.

It's the 15th such strike at the ports over the last four years, but because there are so many companies that operate at the ports, the strikes have had "minimal" effect on port operations according to a spokesperson with the Port of Los Angeles. 

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