Trucker at center of classification fight heads to White House for ‘Worker Voice’ panel

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Alex PazAlex Paz

A California truck driver involved in the ongoing labor issues that have troubled West Coast ports for years is one of the panelists in a White House conference on workers’ rights Wednesday.

Alex Paz was a driver in the port of Los Angeles and Long Beach and was one of numerous drivers who claimed they were misclassified as independent contractors instead of employees. He was fired after filing a claim with the California Labor Commissioner and was involved in the labor activities at the port.

He is among panelists at Wednesday’s first ever White House Summit on Worker Voice, which brings together workers, union leaders, employers and federal, state and local government officials. The purpose of the summit, according to the White House is to “… explore ways to ensure that middle class Americans are sharing in the benefits of the broad-based economic growth that they are helping to create.”

Paz now works for Eco Flow Transportation, the new company created in the wake of the labor issues that troubled the west coast ports this past summer. Eco Flow classifies its drivers as employees and not independent contactors, and Paz is said to be negotiating a contract with the company.

President Obama will deliver opening remarks and take part in a town hall at the summit, which is organized by the White House, the Department of Labor and Coworker.org.

The summit will be livestreamed starting at 10:30 a.m. EDT here: www.whitehouse.gov/live.

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