Toll Trucking drivers took a courageous and noteworthy step last Monday in their struggle for justice and respect. After much hard work from our partner, the Coalition of Clean and Safe Ports, and several CLUE-LA delegations over the past few months, clergy accompanied workers to file a petition for a union election. The petition comes after numerous attempts, including international efforts, to work with management and to request ethical and respectful treatment.
Last Thursday clergy tried once again to speak with management and to deliver a letter signed by the members of the South Bay committee. They tried to meet with Rich Nazzaro, Vice President for West Coast Operations, or one of his associates, but Toll insisted they call their offices in New Jersey to make an appointment instead of speaking with someone working inside the building. The delegation’s letter explains their commitment to the workers as neighbors, congregants and friends as well as the importance of ensuring a democratic, respectful and fair environment leading up to the election in March.
A special thanks to Fr. Will Connor, Rev. Doug Johnstone, Rev. Jim Bessey, Rev. Gary Commins, Rev. Kit Wilke, Jon Pulvino, Latrice Lee and Rabbi Jonathan Klein for their role in the delegation!
Since then, clergy participated in an international teleconference about Toll Trucking alongside two Toll drivers, a labor law professor and Teamsters representatives. The news was picked up by Australian media as well as two American business and commerce media outlets.
This fight is just beginning. We will stand with the workers to make sure the company knows we are holding them accountable. As community members, we will monitor their working environment every Wednesday. Please contact Hal Steinberg for more information. “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these, my brothers and sisters, you did it to me” (Matthew 25:35-40). Your prayers and presence make a difference: Thanks to all those who have already joined us on delegations!