We’ve come a long way since that delegation. We rejoice that Toll Group drivers have won a just contact at the ports, which took effect this year! Drivers have not only won long-overdue raises, but have retirement security and healthcare for their families – no small feat in an economy and an industry that undervalue working people and their families.
This struggle began with workers being misclassified as “independent contractors” – denying them basic protections under the law! CLUE-LA, in solidarity with the Teamsters, local faith leaders, and Harbor-area residents, demanded an end to misclassification and a fair deal for Toll Group drivers. Supported by Australian workers pressure Toll at home and political leaders like Mayor Villaraigosa and Congresswoman Janice Hahn denouncing anti-worker attacks, Toll drivers won a union election by an overwhelming 3-to-1 margin.
The landmark agreement culminates more than 24 months of worker struggle and employer resistance in which these truckers – aided by a community coalition, their children, and clergy – borrowed bullhorns, leafleted consumers, gathered signatures practiced their picket lines, staged noisy protests, crashed shareholder meetings in a dogged campaign to end the Third World-like working conditions they once routinely endured.
This victory in the ports follows CLUE-LA’s knockout victory in Long Beach, where a living wage ordinance for hotel workers passed in the November election. Slowly and steadily, people of faith and working families are building peace and justice in workplaces from San Pedro to Downtown, from Long Beach to Santa Monica. We rejoice that Guillermo Torres is continuing to work in the Ports and Long Beach, and we look forward to the day that the jobs that Julian Bond called “sharecropping on wheels” are all jobs with dignity, justice, and sustainability.
Here are some more articles from our friends about the struggle to win at Toll!
America’s Port Truckers Deliver a Resounding Yes Winning Union Recognition as Teamsters in Historic Vote; Drivers Coast to Coast Cite Los Angeles Victory to Clinch Collective Bargaining Rights They Are Currently Denied