Six months after Los Angeles-area port truckers won a rare union election in a nearly union-free industry, contract negotiations have hit the rocks. The union, Teamsters Local 848, charges that Australia-based logistics giant Toll Group has broken its promise to bargain in good faith. With truckers on both coasts watching the negotiations closely, the increasingly public showdown could continue to escalate. Will it end in a strike? “We’re ready to do whatever it takes to get our contract,” said Eduardo Urrea, a member of the union’s bargaining committee.
In the meantime, the Los Angeles-area port truckers have started conducting near-weekly “practice pickets.” “They’re mastering the art of practice,” said TJ Michels, a spokesperson for the labor federation Change to Win. “Because eventually, practice might have to make perfect.”