Truck drivers picketed outside of the Port of Baltimore on Thursday in protest of high wait times with no pay.
More than a dozen independent truck drivers protested on August 11th, and told WBAL 11 News that they wait hours to get loaded – all without pay.
“I feel that all hours worked, all hours should be paid because my truck is still running, I’m burning fuel. My time is cost. I’m trying to operate a business,” said John Richardson-Allaire, an independent truck driver.
“(It’s) costing losses for me and my family — my family of five kids, my household,” said Darney Crawford-Sayer, another independent truck driver.
“I love my job. I love what I do. But I really don’t like coming to the port because of the long waits that are free. You know, I’m working for free,” Crawford-Sayer said.
Truck drivers went on to say that the port is focused on unloading ships, not loading trucks.
“They hire more workers for the ships than they do for the drivers themselves. So, the numbers they project ship-to-shore, but not shore-to-door,” said Krog Elsey, an independent truck driver.
The Port of Baltimore has since released a statement, but did not specifically address the concerns of these drivers.
Over the past several months, the U.S. East Coast has been experiencing a significant shift in vessel calls and volumes. This increase in volume has put pressure on all aspects of our supply chain, workforces and region, leading to significant increases in dwell times, import and empty container volumes and equipment shortages.”
“Come to the table. Negotiate an agreement with truck drivers across the country at all of your terminals. All hours worked, all hours paid. And, we want a process that handles disputes between drivers and management, a grievance process,” said Billy J. Randel, an organizer of Truckers Movement for Justice.