Urban Fold

Teamsters And Enviros Unite

The Los Angeles and Long Beach Ports’ new Clean Trucks program is the object of a legal battle pitting Teamsters, environmental and public health groups, the NAACP, and community groups demanding clean air against trucking companies and shippers.

"Los Angeles is at the forefront of this trend (uniting labor and environmentalists), turning a concept (‘blue-green alliance') into an actual project at the region's two ports: the newly minted Clean Trucks program, which is being watched as a possible model for other cities.

Environmentalists had for years sought to reduce the cancer-causing pollution coming from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach -- the source of a quarter of the smog in the Los Angeles basin.

At the same time, various unions had tried to organize drivers at the port, but no union ever formed.

The Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, a nonprofit closely tied to the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, brought together the Teamsters and Unite Here with the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club and the Coalition for Clean Air. It also pulled in neighbors, community groups, advocates for asthma sufferers and the NAACP, ultimately building a coalition of 50 groups."

"The Clean Trucks program, which went into effect last month, will reduce cancer-causing diesel pollution by banning older trucks.

The trucking companies and the shippers have filed legal challenges against the plan both in the courts and at the Federal Maritime Commission in Washington, D.C. They contend that it violates federal law to require trucking companies to be concessionaires to work at the port."

Thanks to Susan Frank

Full Story: Project brings unusual merger of union bosses and environmentalists

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