By Andrew Khouri
April 27, 2015

Some truck drivers who haul goods from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach walked off the job Monday, launching a protest against four trucking firms they accuse of wage theft.

Picket lines went up outside the trucking yards of Pacific 9 Transportation, Intermodal Bridge Transport, Pacer Cartage and Harbor Rail Transport, said Barb Maynard, a spokeswoman for the Teamsters union, which is supporting the truckers.

Maynard estimated the number of drivers striking at several hundred. Nearly 14,000 drivers serve both ports, and about 1,000 trucking companies are registered to do so, a Long Beach port spokesman said.

In Monday’s job action, picket lines will move to port terminals if trucks from the struck firms enter those facilities, potentially hurting the flow of goods if dockworkers choose to honor the pickets.

The protest is the latest in a series of job actions against harbor-area trucking firms. The drivers argue that they are improperly classified as independent contractors, leaving them with fewer workplace protections and lower pay than if they were company employees.

They’ve won several rulings lately in the courts and by government agencies agreeing they had been misclassified.

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