TRUCKERS, who say they have been misclassified as independent owner operators, delivered a formal demand to China's state-owned Cosco Logistics Americas to be re-classified as employees and represented by Teamsters union in Long Beach.
A letter of demand was delivered to Intermodal Bridge Transport (IBT), a Cosco unit, but IBT assistant vice president Ozzie Zea did not not respond, so the drivers took their demand to IBT president Gary Schubert and Cosco Logistics Americas president Shuyi Du.
The drivers said they are also notifying IBT customers: retailer Michael Kors, Sony, Toyota, General Electric, Target, JC Penney, and Trek Bicycle Corporation to tell them of their demands and the potential for labour trouble.
The drivers, many of whom were on strike in April, are also plaintiffs in a series of lawsuits filed against the company for misclassification.
Drivers at Shippers Transport Express succeeded in their litigation to become Teamsters. IBT drivers are in close contact as their parent companies, because Cosco and SSA Marine, operate Pacific Container Terminals (PCT) in Long Beach.
"Drivers at Shippers Transport Express had to fight through the courts to get their rights. We are hoping to avoid that long and expensive process," said driver Hector Flores.
Said local Teamster treasurer Eric Tate: "Local 848 looks forward to welcoming IBT drivers to the Teamster family. It is clearly in the best interest of all parties ¡X the company, their customers, and drivers to avoid litigation."
Source : HKSG.