NO ADVERTISING, GOVERNMENT OR CORPORATE FUNDING

  • Latest News
  • Pitch a Story
  • Work with a Journalist
  • Join the Blog Squad
  • Afghanistan
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Baltimore
  • Canada
  • Egypt
  • Europe
  • Latin America
  • Middle East
  • Russia
  • Economy
  • Environment
  • Health Care
  • Military
  • Occupy
  • Organize This
  • Reality Asserts Itself
  • US Politics
  • Striking LA Truckers Target Walmart Supply Chain


    Independent trucking contractors go on strike for the first time in decades, protesting unfair labor practices. -   October 3, 14
    Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here


    Audio

      Share to Twitter
    Share to Facebook



    I support TRNN because it is the closest expression of the ideal of a free press I have seen. - Daniel
    Log in and tell us why you support TRNN

    Bio

    Robert Pollin is professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is the founding co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI). His research centers on macroeconomics, conditions for low-wage workers in the US and globally, the analysis of financial markets, and the economics of building a clean-energy economy in the US. His latest book is Back to Full Employment. Other books include A Measure of Fairness: The Economics of Living Wages and Minimum Wages in the United States and Contours of Descent: US Economic Fractures and the Landscape of Global Austerity.

    Transcript

    Striking LA Truckers Target Walmart Supply ChainJESSICA DESVARIEUX, TRNN PRODUCER: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Jessica Desvarieux in Baltimore.

    Hundreds of truckers in Los Angeles took part in what's being reported as the first strike by independent contractors in decades. The truckers at Green Fleet Systems, American Logistics International, and Pac 9 deliver goods for retail giants like Walmart and Forever 21.

    The Real News reached Nick Weiner, who is the national campaign director for Justice for the Port Driver campaign, and he's supporting the nonunion workers on strike.

    DESVARIEUX: So, Nick, can you briefly explain the difference between independent contractors and traditional employees?

    DESVARIEUX: That was Nick Weiner, the national campaign director for Justice for Port Driver campaign, who joined us from the picket lines in the Port of Los Angeles. We also contacted Green Fleet, but they declined to comment.

    Alright. We just heard a report from the picket lines over there. And now joining us to unpack all this is Bob Pollin. He is the founder and codirector of the PERI institute at UMass Amherst.

    Thanks for being with us, Bob.

    PROF. ROBERT POLLIN, CODIRECTOR, POLITICAL ECONOMY RESEARCH INSTITUTE: I'm very glad to be on. Thank you, Jessica.

    DESVARIEUX: So, Bob, we just got a report, like I said, from the picket line, where truckers are striking. Can you just unpack for us what this actually means in a broader context, a national context? We're seeing not just retail and fast food workers on strike now. Now we're seeing truck drivers who are really a part of the supply chain.

    POLLIN: Well, yes. I mean, I think it's very important that we're seeing the Walmart workers, retail workers, we're seeing fast food workers, and now we're seeing truckers going out on short-term strikes because--why? Because their conditioned have deteriorated. The union strength is weak, so without the formal role of the union behind them, their bargaining power has worsened. And they see the inequality that has arisen in the country, after all. Since the recession ended in 2009, 95 percent of all the income gains has gone to the top 1 percent. The real wages of workers has stagnated or declined. They're below where they were 40 years ago in real inflation-adjusted dollars. And so that's what is driving these strikes. And it is very important that it has now moved on to truckers, who have been badly exploited and need this kind of pushback.

    DESVARIEUX: Do you think these type of protests and strikes are effective?

    POLLIN: Well, they're better than not doing them at all. I think it's very important that working people are starting to raise their voices and demand better conditions, fighting for a higher minimum wage. I mean, the struggle for a $15 minimum wage did at least yield something. In California is passed a $10 minimum wage starting in 2016. Now, that's not good enough, but if there hadn't been the fight over the last several months and arguing in behalf of the $15 minimum wage, we wouldn't have the biggest state in the union passing a $10 minimum wage. That's how politics works.

    And the point is that working people do deserve better conditions. It's important that they fight for their rights, because otherwise they're getting kicked around by both parties, including the Democrats--most Democrats, Wall Street Democrats. And so this is a very positive development.

    DESVARIEUX: Alright. Bob Pollin, thank you so much for joining us.

    POLLIN: Thank you very much for having me.

    DESVARIEUX: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.

    End

    DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.


    Comments

    Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at contact@therealnews.com

    Comments


    Latest Stories


    Almost Impossible to Indict a Cop
    Obama's Record on Defending Civil and Constitutional Rights Abysmal
    The Real News Town Hall Pt. 3 Should the community control the police?
    We Dehumanize Those We Want to Exploit - Eddie Conway on Reality Asserts Itself (9/10)
    Baltimore Erupts with Protests in Solidarity with Ferguson
    Police Brutality Towards Black People Has Historically Gone Unchecked
    The Real News Town Hall Pt. 2: Should the Community Control the Police?
    "Democracy on Fire": Protestors Respond to Grand Jury's Failure to Indict Mike Brown's Killer
    Hagel Resigns - A Look at His Record
    Is Obama's Immigration Action Too Little, Too Late?
    Baltimore Residents Demand Legislative Action to End Police Impunity
    The Real News Town Hall: Should the Community Control the Police? Pt.1
    Who Is in Charge of Development: The Elite or the Majorities? (2/2)
    Protesting GM Auto Workers Attacked by US Embassy Staff
    The Life and Times of Emory Douglas, Minister of Culture in the Black Panther Party (3/3)
    G-20 Recommits to Lifting Private Sector Activity (2/2)
    Obama Unveils Immigration Plan, But What Will It Change?
    Study Finds Racial Profiling Persists in Toronto Despite Ban
    G-20 Recommits to Lifting Private Sector Activity
    Who Is In Charge of Development: The Elite or the Majorities? (1/2)
    Swedish Court of Appeals Rule to Continue the Detention of Julian Assange
    The Power to Create Money in the Hands of the Banks
    Animal Agriculture: A Neglected Agent of Global Warming?
    Despite Senate Vote on Keystone XL, Tar Sands Oil Will Still Reach the Gulf
    Seattle Begins Police Reforms in Wake of Federal Civil Rights Investigation
    All Eyes on Ferguson as Gov. Nixon Declares State of Emergency Ahead of Grand Jury Decision
    The Life and Times of Emory Douglas, Minister of Culture in the Black Panther Party (2/3)
    G20 Summit Failed to Seriously Address Global Problems
    Who is Behind the Ousting of President Compaore in Burkina Faso?
    Investigation Uncovers "Culture of Impunity" for Chicago Police Department

    RealNewsNetwork.com, Real News Network, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of IWT.TV inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and Real News Network.

    All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network.  Click here for more

    Problems with this site? Please let us know

    Linux VPS Hosting by Star Dot Hosting