NO ADVERTISING, GOVERNMENT OR CORPORATE FUNDING
DONATE TODAY


The 200K Spring Challenge!

every dollar pledged will be matched by a generous donor

MICHELLE ALEXANDER

EDDIE CONWAY

CORNEL WEST

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 Facebook Share to Twitter



I support The Real News Network because they do not just parrot the 24 hour news cycle of the mainst - David Pear
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


Grand Jury Indicts 6 Officers in Death of Freddie Gray
TRNN Debate: Are GMOs Safe to Eat?
NSA Whistleblower: No Real NSA Reforms Being Considered by Senate
Post Conflict Fragile States, Will They Overcome?
Pressure Mounts on Baltimore Police Union as Protests Continue
Five Big Banks Plead Guilty to Rigging Currency Markets and No One Goes to Jail
U.S. Might Support UN Resolution That Leaves Palestine with a "Garbage Dump" - Norman Finkelstein on RAI 2 (3/3)
Baltimore Residents Say Anger Over Freddie Gray Could Affect Mayor's Race
Can the DOJ Reform the Baltimore Police Department?
Julian Assange May Be Exiled in the Ecuadorian Embassy, But Wikileaks Continues
Warren Pushes Back Against TPP Fast Track
Illinois House Passes Bill to Stop BDS Campaign Against Israel
Israel's Iron Dome and Palestinian Armed Resistance - Norman Finkelstein on Reality Asserts Itself 2 (2/3)
NAACP Accuses Baltimore Police Union of Intimidation
Former President Morsi Sentenced to Death
Scheer and Hedges: They Know Everything About You (7/7)
EU Plans to Destroy Migrant Boats Leaving Libya
Israel's Descent into Barbarism - Norman Finkelstein on Reality Asserts Itself 2 (1/3)
The Beneficiaries of Republican Budget Bill: Arms Manufacturers
Obama Takes Small Step Towards Demilitarizing Police
Scheer and Hedges: They Know Everything About You (6/7)
Cornel West, Eddie Conway and Rev. Sekou on Building a Mass Movement
Graduating Class of 2015 Most Debt Burdened in History
Scheer and Hedges: They Know Everything About You (5/7)
20% of Africans Live in Post-Conflict Fragile States
Amtrak Budget Cuts Amount to Derailed Priorities in Washington
Scheer and Hedges: They Know Everything About You (4/7)
New Hoops in Gilmor Homes
How to Use Economics and Not Be Used By Economists (6/6)
Cubans Press for Embargo to be Lifted

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