Coronavirus crisis: LA food bank, Teamsters host drive-thru in San Pedro to help truck drivers affected by downturn

The slowdown of SoCal ports has affected many truck drivers who are independent contractors and do not qualify for employer protection.

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Thursday, April 23, 2020
LA food bank, teamsters help feed impacted truck drivers
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SoCal truckers: Many truck drivers are independent contractors, which means they do not have employer protection and are experiencing wage, job loss due to the slowdown of the ports during the coronavirus emergency.

SAN PEDRO, Calif. (KABC) -- Several local charitable organizations partnered to host a food bank Wednesday for truck drivers who have seen their hours and transportable loads vanish due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank and members of a local Teamsters union came together to help drivers in the San Pedro area.

Since many of the truck drivers are independent contractors, they don't work for a specific company so they don't have employer protection and some are not even members of a union.

The Food Bank provided them with some essentials. The truck drivers are struggling mightily with traffic down significantly.

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"You know some of the numbers that are out there, it depends who you ask, right? But some of the numbers that cargo is only down 30%-40%. We're hearing from the drivers on the ground that it's a lot more than that. Most drivers that are getting 2-3 loads a day are only getting 3-4 loads a week now," said Teamster Ricardo Hidalgo.

Teamsters with the Food Bank provided food to the truck drivers, along with personal protective equipment.

The next event is scheduled for April 24 at the Downey Library, 11121 Brookshire Ave. in Downey.