U.S. ports rely on an old and broken trucking system that pollutes low-income communities and neglects vulnerable workers. Diesel pollution from aging trucks is destroying air quality, leading to higher rates of asthma and cancer clusters, and degrading the quality of life for port truck drivers as well as the children and families who live in neighborhoods near the port.
Tens of thousands of port truck drivers in port cities across the country are working as misclassified employees, as so-called ‘independent contractors’ who are stripped of their rights as employees, according to a report by the National Employment Law Project.
The Coalition for Clean and Safe Ports was founded to renew this essential industry in our economy by strengthening policies that will ensure workers and communities are treated fairly. By emphasizing worker organizing, tougher environmental and public health standards, and a responsible business model, this coalition is fighting for a better future at the ports for everyone.
Our affiliates in the port cities of Los Angeles, Seattle, Oakland and New York are organizing their communities to bring attention to this problem and mobilize support for systemic change that renews a critical part of our economy. Both employment and environmental policies must be reformed to renew and revitalize the port industry so trucking practices reflect the value of fair play and respect for workers and community health.