Owner-operators end walkout at Port of Seattle

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Updated Feb 16, 2012

About 400 short-haul truckers who work the Port of Seattle have ended a two-week walkout over pay and working conditions. The owner-operators stopped picking up and delivering cargo at the port to protest low pay, overweight loads and condition of chassis they pull owned by freight companies.

The walkout delayed delivery of some loads, but no ships were diverted, the port said. Several trucking firms reportedly agreed to increase pay to $44 from $40 a trip. Drivers also would be compensated if stuck in line more than an hour and for some deadhead trips.

While most port drivers are independent contractors, the Washington state House last week approved a bill to classify them as employees, with the right to form a union. The Washington Trucking Association and the Washington Public Ports Association testified against the bill.