California Port Truck Drivers Go On 24-Hour Strike - New York News

California Port Truck Drivers Go On 24-Hour Strike

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Carson, CA -

Abraham says "Yes, we need the union. We want it!"

Jesus says "No! We don't need it or want it."

It's a "that trucker says" versus "that trucker says" kind of a situation at the port.

The truth must lie somewhere in the middle. Somewhere in the murky emotional middle of the "to unionize or not to unionize" issue.

That's what's dividing co-workers and fellow truckers Abraham and Jesus today. Both men work for a trucking company called Green Fleet Systems that services the LA ports and where today a few workers are striking.

Abraham is one of them. Walking a picket line in a 24 hour strike, he's one of several truckers who want to unionize but claim the company is intimidating workers not to. He says truckers aren't treated well here. "We just want to be respected"' he says.

Jesus, who came to work as scheduled, doesn't want the union here and claims the majority of the ninety drivers feel the same way. He says Green Fleet is a good company, treats them well and provides good benefits.

Meanwhile, the company denies any and all allegations of intimidation. 

Two men, two very different stories. Right now about the only thing they have in common is that they are both angry; it's an emotional issue for all of them. So emotional, they're now pitted one against another. 

Earlier during one of our early morning live shots, two men (not Jesus or Abraham) actually came to blows over it.

One, a trucker arriving for work was apparently frustrated at the picket line blocking his path...words were exchanged with a picketer who apparently was frustrated at someone wanting to cross the line and suddenly words weren't the only thing flying between them. 

I can tell you, when all the punches were thrown, both men had tears in their eyes. Oh no, they weren't sobbing and tears weren't rolling down their cheeks and I doubt anything was broken but they had had tears in their eyes. I know. I saw them.

To unionize or not to unionize. It's an issue that has plagued the ports for decades.

Whatever these coworkers, maybe these even once friends decide to do, I hope they can salvage their friendships before those are irretrievably broken.

(FOX 11 / AP) At least 15 port truck drivers have gone on strike, claiming their company is trying to thwart their efforts to unionize.

LA media sources report the strike will last for 24 hours with organizers planning a rally on Tuesday.

The drivers began picketing Green Fleet Systems outside its Carson facility, located about eight miles north of the Port of Long Beach. They allege their employer has hired people who are intimidating drivers seeking to join a union.

The company has denied the union's allegations.

The union has filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board and a hearing is set for October.

Monday's strike kicks off a week of planned labor actions by low-wage workers in different industries seeking to draw attention to their causes.

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