CARSON, Calif. (KTLA) – A group of port drivers who work for a Carson-based trucking company on Tuesday continued a 24-hour strike in which they alleged their unionization effort is being blocked.
The employees of Green Fleet Systems say the firm has tried to prevent drivers from joining the local Teamsters union — an allegation disputed by the company.
On Monday evening, the drivers began picketing in front of the firm’s headquarters. The workers service the adjacent ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which together make up the busiest port complex in the nation.
They planned a rally at the ports late Tuesday afternoon, and local labor leaders were expected to appear alongside unions representing workers in other sectors of the economy.
Drivers allege “union busters” have been hired to prevent their efforts to join the Teamsters Local 848, the Los Angeles Times reported.
One employee was asked to sign an anti-union petition and was promised better pay and benefits if he did not join the union, according to a complaint made by drivers to the National Labor Relations Board.
On Tuesday, striker Ramon Guadamuz urged fellow truckers to continue their unionization efforts.
“Do not run away,” Guadamuz said. “This country, we have freedom. Don’t let the company take your right.”
The company has denied the allegations against it.
“We feel obligated to point out that this demonstration has been organized by out of town interests with no connection to our drivers,” a statement issued by Green Fleet Systems read, in part. “It is regrettable that the unions have exploited so many in pursuing an issue that a vast majority of our drivers have soundly rejected and continue to reject.”