A container ship at the Port of Los Angeles. Photo courtesy of the port

Port truck drivers in San Diego, Los Angeles and Long Beach are expected to announce Monday a new strike against the short haul transport companies for which they work.

Drivers working at the three ports voted over the weekend to strike following a recent ruling that the drivers are misclassified as “independent contractors.” They claim the misclassification allows companies to pay them less than minimum wage, a spokeswoman for the drivers said in a statement.

Drivers for Shippers Transport Express have since been reclassified as company employees, but other drayage companies have not followed suit.

The failure to pay drivers as employees has created an annual $850 million in liability for the industry stemming from wage and hour violations. A single drivers can end up being shortchanged up to $60,000 a year, the statement said.

The labor dispute began in Los Angeles and Long Beach three years ago when drivers sued the drayage companies over the misclassification, and filed various claims and class action suits for wage theft. They began striking over the issue the labor dispute the following year.

— City News Service

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.