PORT OF LOS ANGELES, Calif., Feb. 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- In January, after three months of operating without a valid lease, NFI Industries (formerly the California Cartage family of companies), the largest trucking and warehousing company serving America's leading port complex, announced its intention to vacate prime property owned by the Port of Los Angeles. This decision came three months after the LA City Council unanimously revoked NFI's lease in the wake of the seventh strike by warehouse workers and port truck drivers at the site. On Mon., Feb. 11, 2019, the Port of Los Angeles issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a new tenant for this critical site, which is strategically located in the Port's "heavy weight corridor" and offers preferential tax treatment due to its historic designation as a "Foreign Trade Zone." (Click here for a summary of regulatory action and litigation at NFI/California Cartage.)
The following is a statement from NFI port truck drivers and warehouse workers employed at the site:
"Our employer, NFI/Cal Cartage, has chosen to abandon its operations in Wilmington, its workers and the community. For years we've spoken up about unsafe equipment, racial discrimination, retaliation and intimidation at NFI/Cal Cartage. Instead of cleaning up its act, the company is leaving the Port. We're looking forward to a new company being selected to operate on this property, one that will abide by the law and treat us with dignity and respect," said Jeremy Hoke, a NFI/California Cartage warehouse worker.
"My coworkers and I work hard and depend on our jobs. We move merchandise off of shipping containers and through warehouses before it ends up in stores. This is back breaking work and we do it to support our families and to contribute to our community. At the hands of NFI, we've faced widespread wage theft and ongoing abuses that have fallen deaf on NFI/Cal Cartage's ears. Now we have the opportunity to work for a good employer. We transport goods for NFI/Cal Cartage customers like TJ Maxx, Lowe's, Puma, Rio Tinto, and more. We want to keep working on this property and for these customers, but we need a new company to be chosen that is going to respect us," said Gustavo Villa, a port truck driver with NFI/California Cartage Express (CCX).
With the dedicated support from the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, community, and faith allies, we are fighting to change the logistics industry so we can win justice for ourselves and our families. We haul and handle our country's imports and exports for retail companies, for manufacturers, and for the U.S. Military. We are proud to be professional truck drivers and proud of the service we provide. Without us, America would stop.