Governor Newsom Signs Senator Lena Gonzalez’s SB 338 to Protect Port Truck Drivers

September 27, 2021

Sacramento, Calif. – On September 27, 2021, Governor Newsom signed into law Senator Lena A. Gonzalez’s (D-Long Beach) Senate Bill (SB) 338— legislation to protect essential port drayage truck drivers from employment misclassification and systemic abuses that result in wage theft and denying workers disability benefits, PPE, and health and safety protections.
 
“I am pleased that SB 338 has been signed today by Governor Newsom to put an end to the chronic exploitation of port truck drivers in California once and for all,” said Senator Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach). “Port truck drivers are at the front and center of the ports and goods movement. They are the backbone of our economy and have been systemically exploited by big companies. Today’s action means companies that misclassify workers and deny those workers the benefits they are due will be held accountable. I am proud of the hard work, advocacy and collaboration that has pushed this legislation forward, and I am thankful for the support of community and advocacy groups and the support of my colleagues in the Legislature and Governor Newsom to help enact this significant legislation.”
 
“The Teamsters have led the fight against the misclassification of port drivers for decades and I have made it a priority of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor. For years, our courts and state agencies have resoundingly found drivers to be employees, including almost 500 Labor Commissioner decisions for over $60 million in unpaid wages and damages,” said Ron Herrera, Port Division Director, International Brotherhood of Teamsters. I’m proud of the passage of SB 338 because it will help bring justice and much needed accountability to the ports by capturing the worst actors in the trucking industry who for too long have considered misclassification citations just another cost of doing business. We commend Senator Gonzalez for championing this issue, we celebrate the passage of this law, and we honor the lives of port drivers who worked throughout the pandemic, many of whom lost their lives in the pursuit of worker justice.”

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Senator Gonzalez represents the 33rd Senate District, which includes the City of Long Beach and portions of South Los Angeles and Southeast Los Angeles including the cities of Bell, Bell Gardens, Cudahy, Huntington Park, Lakewood, Lynwood, Maywood, Paramount, Signal Hill, and South Gate. Senator Gonzalez lives in Long Beach with her husband Adam and three sons.
 
The Teamsters are America’s largest, most diverse union. In 1903, the Teamsters started as a merger of the two leading team driver associations. These drivers were the backbone of America’s robust economic growth, but they needed to organize to wrest their fair share from greedy corporations. Today, the Union’s task is exactly the same.