WASHINGTON, D.C.– Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) made the following statement in support of the Los Angeles Port Truck Drivers striking against wage theft and mistreatment. Last week, USA Today published an investigation on the abuses of port truck drivers, who have been overworked with little pay and forced into debt by major corporations. These drivers say that they have been misclassified as ‘independent contractors,’ allowing companies to avoid paying minimum wage, overtime, or complying with key workplace protections. Additionally, truck drivers are forced to lease their trucks and pay for business expenses like insurance and fuel out of their own pockets. This leaves workers with barely any pay to show for their hours of work.
“The blatant worker abuse of American truck drivers, particularly those in the Port of Los Angeles is appalling. Thousands of hardworking individuals are being treated like second-class citizens by profitable corporations that steal wages, manipulate their employees, and refuse to provide benefits."
“Courts in California have sided with truck drivers in 97% of the cases involving these violations, decisively judging it illegal to classify these workers as independent contractors. Yet these practices continue. These workers, many who are just scraping by to make ends meet and feed their families deserve fair wages, good benefits, overtime pay, and the right to unionize.”
“The CPC stands in solidarity with these hard-working port truck drivers, who are demanding an end to worker misclassification and wage theft. There’s a reason why USA Today called this abuse ‘modern-day indentured servitude’ – and it must come to an end.”
The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) is the largest caucus within the House Democratic Caucus, with over 70 members standing up for progressive ideals in Washington and throughout the country. Since 1991, the CPC has advocated for progressive policies that prioritize working Americans over corporate interests, fight economic and social inequality, and promote civil liberties. The CPC champions progressive policy solutions like comprehensive immigration reform, a $15 national minimum wage, fair trade, gun violence reform, debt-free college, and making the federal government a Model Employer.