Recalling the Problems of Port-based Carriers
Recent headlines about the treatment of truck drivers near California’s ports have drawn concerns from administrators and human rights advocates alike.
Some truckers claim they were forced to work for 12 hours a day for less than a dollar, with carriers indebting them and working them to the point of exhaustion.
Problems of this type are a serious concern, but it is worth noting this isn’t the only trucking-based controversy to hit the area. This area of California sees plenty of freight deliveries, with the nearby ports being used for a large portion of America’s imports. The busy and bustling area would seem like a great spot for truckers seeking consistent work, but complaints have come from this area in the past.
It was nearly one year ago that port trucking companies in the Los Angeles and Long Beach areas were sued for misclassifying employees as independent contractors.
The mistake caused a serious problem, as it left drivers dealing with a stringent work arrangement without the freedom that came with the independent contractor lifestyle. In addition to having their work life controlled heavily by carriers, the drivers were also denied certain benefits based on their contributions to the company and the terms of their working agreement.
In September of last year, two port companies had filed for amnesty to help them manage the cost of owed wages and benefits to misclassified employees. The controversy draws concerns about the treatment of employees in the area, and implies the issue could be systematic.
The financial struggles of carriers in the area may have contributed to the harsh working conditions and questionable treatment of employees. With more allegations emerging about immigrant workers in the area who were given unfair and inhumane working conditions, the situations for carriers in the area could get worse if the accusations are found to be true.
Truck drivers have a hard enough job when it comes to transporting freight in unfamiliar territory. The last thing drivers need is a work arrangement where they’re mistreated, pressured into unhealthy situations, and denied compensation they have earned fairly.