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Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), who represents the Port of Long Beach, put forth the bill last week.
"Port truckers are driving the global economy and delivering for the biggest brands but they can barely afford to buy clothes for their families," Lara said in a statement. "These used to be good jobs, and they can be good jobs again if retailers join us in improving labor conditions here in California and putting dignity back in the driver's seat."
Specifically, SB 1402 would create a list of trucking companies with unpaid final judgments for labor violations, especially wage theft and misclassification of drivers who meet the criteria for being an employee. If a retailer or any other company later hired one of those companies, either directly or through a third party, it would be jointly liable for future judgments.
The California Retailers Assn. did not respond to a request for comment.
Shawn Yadon, chief executive of the California Trucking Assn., said the bill is simply an attempt to unionize truckers, noting that that there is an exemption to joint liability for retailers who hire union trucking firms.
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