Dispute Over Employment Status Leads to Strike
Many labor strikes are centered around pay, hours, or other similar factors. But some movements of this type are aimed at addressing bigger problems. Many truck drivers have expressed concerns about the way they’re classified. A worker’s status can affect the types of benefits and treatment they get. Misclassifications can result in drivers missing out on what is due them. At the busy Long Beach and Los Angeles ports, many drivers are currently making their voices heard on this issue.
A strike has developed as many drivers who are listed as independent contractors feel they deserve to be treated as contracted employees for their efforts. These drivers play a large role in making sure freight arrives at commercial locations in the area. Many of them feel companies are being misclassifying them in an effort to save money. While these drivers have been dictated to concerning the terms of their agreement, they have not been compensated accordingly.
One of the main reasons that drivers choose to work independently is to gain more freedom. Self-employed drivers may take jobs at their discretion and on their own terms. But many drivers who have worked with port companies claim they haven’t enjoyed such an arrangement. And despite acclimating to the terms of their employer’s agreement, they haven’t been given the pay and benefits of contracted employees.
The trucking companies that have been accused of this type of misclassification have generally been viewed as opportunists attempting to improve their own bottom line. By denying workers the benefits and insurance of normal employees, these companies save money – but the truckers who actually make the drives aren’t happy about what has transpired. It’s difficult to work in a business where fragmentation leads to some people getting taken advantage of. The California Labor Commission is currently taking action to address the complaints.