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Labor's Edge: Views from the California Labor Movement

Labor's Edge Articles by Valerie Lapin


2/2/12

Truck Drivers Shut Down Port of Seattle to Expose Dangers of the Job

by Valerie Lapin

Monday mornings are the busiest at any port, but this past one in Seattle the trucks were parked. Drivers spanning the major companies that do the most business in the Puget Sound simply turned off the engines, got out of their cabs, and stopped hauling. They had somewhere else they needed to be. Steely determination led roughly 150 port drivers to sacrifice income and risk retaliation to make the hour-and-a-half trek to swarm the State Capitol in Olympia.

This week the truck drivers – who toil under the guise of false self-employment – are making it their job to sound the alarm on occupational hazards, overweight containers, shoddy equipment, risks to motorists, and the culprits responsible for these rampant safety violations: their employers and their giant retail shipper clients like Wal-Mart, Sears, and Target.


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