Unions rally at ports in attempt to reach truckers

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Thousands of truckers, Teamsters and other workers rallied at ports nationwide last week as part of a seven-union campaign for better conditions for workers and tighter port security.

Change to Win is the affiliated unions’ campaign to reach nonunion workers in transportation, retail and other industries. Jim Hoffa, Teamsters general president, has focused efforts in trucking not only on better pay, safety and working conditions, but also security.

“If Congress forces the industry to clean up its act, we will have a work force on our front lines that can pass background checks,” Hoffa says. ” A work force that will be trained, efficient and productive. A work force that will be the eyes and ears of our ports – one that will make America more secure.”

The six other unions are Service Employees International Union, United Here, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, Laborers’ International Union of North America, United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, and United Farm Workers of America.

The rallies kicked off in Miami with Hoffa; John Edwards, former U.S. senator and vice presidential candidate; and Charles Steele, Southern Christian Leadership Conference president. Similar rallies also occurred this week in Houston, Los Angeles and Oakland, Calif.