With protests winding down at the Port of Oakland, California, shippers thought they were safe from drivers looking for better standards on wages and treatment from upper management. Looks like some drivers at the Port of Houston are taking up the torch passed to them from their counterparts.
Wages and fuel surcharges are the focal point
Over 90 Hudd Transportation drivers began striking on Monday, July 25 over what appears to be driver pay and recovering fuel surcharges owed to the drivers. BTU and FreightWaves’ Noi Mahoney have spoken with the drivers and they are describing a horrible relationship with their contractor.
Protesting drivers have apparently been unable to have conversations with the company management, either in-person, over the telephone, or by email. Requests to renegotiate contracts for increased rates and fuel surcharges due to the increase in diesel prices have been given the cold shoulder.
That led to the decision by drivers to strike, refusing to work until someone from Hudd spoke with them. Hudd’s response was to have the police evict them from the premises. Drivers are now gathering at a local public park to continue their strike.
There are around 70 drivers gathered today, July 29, but rainy weather has caused some of the drivers to go home early. There is no formal picket line as there was at the Port of Oakland protest, and I don’t expect “free speech zones” to be set up in the great state of Texas.
BTU has received reports from the group’s spokesman that at least three contractors have had their contracts terminated “without cause or reason” Friday. This could develop into a larger legal matter, with drivers now contacting attorneys for advice on how to proceed.
FreightWaves’ Noi Mahoney has released an article with further details, and has reached out to Maersk, Hudd’s parent company for comment, but has not received a reply.
This is a breaking story, with BTU and FreightWaves getting more information by the hour. We will be updating with more articles as it develops.