Truck drivers picket due to unpaid downtime in the port of Baltimore
Truckers picketed near the port of Baltimore, demanding payment for all hours, including waiting time.
On August 11, a group of truck drivers said they waited for hours for workers to load their trucks, but were not paid for the time. The protesters argued that the hours of downtime are delaying deliveries, which increases the cost of goods.
“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.
“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 note that the situation at the Port of Baltimore represents a major challenge in the chain of origin.
“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.
In a statement, the port said: “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.”
The Port of Baltimore ranks in the top 10 for foreign cargo and ranks among the top in the nation for truckloads.