ILWU Clerks Strike, Close Down Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach
Archive for strike
update feb 13 demonstration slideshow:
article on feb 13 demo:
update: via king5.com thur feb 9
SEATTLE — The Port of Seattle says the strike by hundreds of truck drivers is having an impact and the movement looks like it keeps growing. The more than 100 drivers picketing outside the Union Pacific rail yard Thursday say they need to make more money and need to be safe doing it.
update Rally to Support the Truckers called for Monday Feb 13:
Seattle Port Trucker Strike Rally!Public Event · By Seattle Solidarity.
Monday, February 13, 2012.9:00am until 12:00pm.. E. Marginal Way and Hanford, under the viaduct
Over the last two weeks non-unionized short-haul truckers at the port have refused to work until they receive better treatment. For months they’ve been trying to build an association to fight back. These mostly immigrant workers face horrendous conditions on the ports – e…xtremely low pay, harassment from law enforcement and trucking companies, exorbitant fees charged by the companies that more than once have resulted in “negative” paychecks for the drivers.
Because of this they’ve stopped work, first at just one company, but it has since spread to many companies, slowing all traffic at the port. They’ve asked us to support them at a strike rally they’ll hold on Monday. We’ll be there with banners and flyers. Their situation is desperate, and it’s extremely important we show solidarity, we’re there to say “We support the Seattle truck drivers and their association.”
Depending on how their actions go there may be future ways we can help out. People from Occupy have also organized a food drive for the truckers – who aren’t making any money while they’re out. Please feel free to bring some donations of non-perishable food, diapers, baby wipes and etc – for the striking truckers and their families
*SEE YOU MONDAY!*
“SEATTLE — Hundreds of truck drivers at the Port of Seattle have walked off the job and lawmakers are deciding if they need to take action.”
“Drivers at several trucking companies that haul containers between the port and intermodal rail yards are refusing loads because they charge the companies they contract with are paying them less than the market rate in the harbor area.
Harbor trucking companies normally negotiate a drayage rate with shipping lines or cargo interests. The general practice is for the trucking company to keep a percentage of the rate and then pass the rest on to the drivers. In this instance, drivers say some motor carriers are retaining a higher percentage of the drayage rate than is customary in Puget Sound.”
“As many as 30 or 40 percent of the short-haul truckers who normally move containers from docks to railcar terminals at the Port of Seattle have stopped working.
The work stoppage comes after one of the drivers was retaliated against for attending a hearing in Olympia last week on a proposal to improve their working conditions.
They’re independent contractors, who are predominantly immigrants, and say the conditions they’re forced to contend with make the job unsafe.
Community groups are now rallying in their support.”
“Waterfront truckers are typically classified as “independent contractors” and paid $40 to $44 per load. After spending money to insure and maintain their aging trucks, drivers average around $30,000 a year net income. They are not allowed to use restrooms at the port gates, and say they are sometimes called the N-word or animals.
“It looks like Alabama — this is in Seattle, West Seattle!” said Aynalem Moba, a leader in the new Seattle Port Truckers Association.”
Driven by a broken economic system, port truck drivers in Seattle and Tacoma are robbed of basic protections afforded other types of workers in the United States and paid as little as $10 or $11 an hour. Low-wage port truck drivers are forced to carry the entire cost of owning and maintaining their own trucks and are often only able to afford to oldest and dirtiest trucks available. As a result, communities located near ports or along major truck routes are saturated by toxic, deadly diesel pollution.
The Coalition for Clean & Safe Ports is a local and national alliance of environmental activists, truck drivers, faith leaders, labor unions and community advocates fighting for environmental and economic justice at our nation’s ports.
The Ports of Seattle and Tacoma sit 25 miles apart on Puget Sound. Together, they form the third largest container load center in North America, trailing only the Port of New York and New Jersey and the adjacent Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.1
• The total value of the Portʼs maritime imports and exports annually exceeds $56 billion dollars.
• 70% of the goods arriving in Puget Sound ultimately end up in the Midwest; Puget Sound ports
principally serve as a transit point for goods moving from East Asia to Midwestern retailers.
• The Portsʼ principle imports are toys, cars, sports equipment, clothing and electronics.
• In 2009, the Ports moved roughly 1,700,000 containers.
The vast majority of cargo handled at the Ports is moved between the region’s marine terminals, warehouses and rail yards by diesel trucks. Port officials counted 3,259 of these trucks serving the Port of Tacoma in 2010 and 1,416 serving one of Seattle’s four terminals in 2008.5 6 After discounting for infrequent visitors and drivers that visit both ports, the Port of Tacoma and Seattle terminals are routinely served by an estimated 2,000-2,500 drivers.
• The most recent study of port drivers in Puget Sound was conducted in 2006, just before the
economic downturn. Even so, the survey found that the median income of drivers working at the Port
of Seattle was $28,500 per year.
• More than half reported working longer than the legal limit of 11 hours per day. The typical driver is married, in his forties, and has children. The misclassification of port truck drivers has allowed industry to shift the responsibility of the truck purchase and maintenance over to individual workers. These low-wage earners have purchased the only vehicles they can afford: old, dilapidated rigs. Unable to afford proper maintenance, these vehicles become more polluting and unsafe with every passing year.
• An estimated 95% of the nationʼs 110,000 port trucks fail to meet current U.S. EPA emission
standards, increasing diesel pollution by one thousand percent.
• In the immediate port-adjacent neighborhoods of South Park and Georgetown, the EPA has found
that cancer risk is 27 times higher than the national average.10 Dioxin from diesel burning trucks is reported to be one of the principle culprits.
• Similarly, the concentration of fine particulate matter – one of the principle pollutes emitted by diesel trucks – in Georgetown appears to be the highest in the region. Because of the high concentrations of particulates, residents are at elevated risk for asthma, cancer, heart disease, and other life threatening diseases.
VIDEO: Demeke “Yared” Meconnen Seattle Port Truck Driver
VIDEO: Abdulhakim Mussid: Seattle Port Truck Driver
VIDEO: Prayer Breakfast for Port of Seattle Truck Drivers (2010)
Twin ports account for 40% of goods imported into U.S.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT
PAUL TEA (775) 348-6060 ext. 18
The Building and Construction Trades Council of Northern Nevada/AFL-CIO and its affiliated unions have voted to support a Teamsters walkout. This could mean a shutdown of both private and public construction jobs in Local 533’s huge jurisdiction as well as in other markets where Granite does business.
Local 533 drivers bring concrete and asphalt to construction sites and haul waste material away. Without them, construction shuts down.
“Granite’s proposal would bring our workers perilously close to the inflation-adjusted minimum wage,” Tea added.
The buying power of the U.S. minimum wage peaked in 1968. Adjusted for the cost of living, the $1.60 rate from 1968 becomes $9.90 in 2009 dollars, just $3.10 away from Granite’s rock-bottom offer.
“Their proposals are uniformly outrageous, but the pay cut is the backbreaker,” Tea said.
“The union allowed early re-opening of contract talks when we did not have to. We wanted plenty of time to work things out. Granite quickly set its positions in cement and has refused to move. They want to eliminate the Teamsters hiring hall, gut grievance procedures and cut back our scope of work,” Tea noted.
“We are proud that other unions will stand with us in preventing this cancer from spreading nationwide,” Tea asserted.
“We will not let Granite become a modern-day robber baron, using tough economic times to exploit working people when the company is making lots of money,” Tea stated.
Last year, Granite’s profits increased 9.2 percent over 2007 to $122.4 million, according to Fortune/CNNmoney.com. Granite ranks as number 738 in Fortune magazine’s latest list of the 1,000-largest companies in the United States.
Granite reported a gross profit of 18 percent on total western U.S. revenues in the second quarter of 2009.
RENO (Aug. 15) — A strike by Teamsters Union drivers could shut down giant Granite Construction in California and Nevada anytime after midnight tonight.
Contract talks between Teamsters Local 533 and the huge national company broke down last Thursday.
“They have been negotiating in bad faith and I told them so,” stated union secretary-treasurer Paul Tea.
“They want our drivers to take an $8.00 an hour pay cut on private sector work, from $21 down to $13 an hour. Granite is very profitable and has been winning bids at the pay rates under the contract which expired on July 31, so we cannot see how they can make such a family-devastating demand. They have failed to give us any information which would justify such a drastic cut,” Tea added.
“We have offered a wage freeze. Our members have helped the company to be profitable and deserve to be paid an honest wage for their labor,” Tea said.
“We even brought in negotiators from our international union to try to resolve the impasse, but Granite’s conduct has shown they don’t want resolution, they want confrontation. Such tactics are not new. We only represent about 60 drivers, a very small number of this huge company’s workforce. This would not be the first time that an employer has targeted a few to abuse as examples in order to bludgeon workers in larger markets,” Tea added.
“They can’t call our bluff because the Teamsters don’t bluff,” Tea stated.
800 demonstrators march on Disney over labor dispute
July 14th, 2009, 6:02 pm · · posted by Adam Townsend, Staff Writer
Roughly 800 Disney hotel workers, union organizers, outside demonstrators and members of the Episcopal clergy marched from the Convention Center, shutting down Harbor Boulevard to the Disneyland entrance Tuesday afternoon – another protest rally in the labor dispute between Disney and workers at the three Disneyland hotels that has simmered at a stalemate for a year-and-a-half.
Since the old contract expired Feb. 1, 2008, negotiations have stalled over healthcare issues, and the Orange County branch of the Unite Here hotel union representing the workers has fortified itself for a strike by merging with the Los Angeles chapter – that branch has a strike fund to pull money from if workers vote to stop work and picket the self-desribed “happiest place on Earth.”
Hundreds of workers occupy Waterford Crystal plant after losing jobs
Hundreds of workers are staging a sit-in at Ireland’s Waterford Crystal factory after being told by text message they were to lose their jobs.
By Jon Swaine
Last Updated: 9:35PM GMT 30 Jan 2009
Scuffles broke out as private security teams tried to stop employees storming the plant in Kilbarry, Co Waterford.
The workers had received text messages from union officials warning them that ailing site was to close.
Republican National Convention Protest
This September the Republican National Convention is coming to St Paul, MN…it is our chance to let whoever gets into the white house in November know:
Rising fuel prices are putting us out of business!
Rising fuel prices don’t just effect drivers – they effect everyone when the higher costs are passed on to consumers in the price of food, the price of clothing, and other essentials!
It is time the US Government begins focusing on economic issues at home!
When Shell and Exxon Mobile are raking in record profits, drivers and consumers are getting squeezed out!
JOIN US ON SEPTEMBER 2ND TO SAY ENOUGH! TRUCKERS AND CITIZENS OF AMERICA CAN’T FOOT THE BILL FOR SURGING OIL SPECULATION!
Meeting Place and Time: Sept 2nd (Time To Be Announced)
Ikea Parking Lot Entrance on Lindau LN.
Maps and routes will be handed out at the starting point.
“Truckers and Citizens of America”
Michael (JB) Schaffner
Students for a Democratic Society Chapters:
UND ; MSU Moorhead ;
Arkansas Independent Truck Drivers Association
Director: Karaga “Red” Jackson
Poor Peoples Economic Fight For Life
Lead Organizer: Cheri Honkala