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Los Angeles Port Truckers Forced Into Indentured Servitude, Investigation Finds

Trucks wait to be loaded at the Port of Los Angeles in 2012. (Nick Ut/AP)
Trucks wait to be loaded at the Port of Los Angeles in 2012. (Nick Ut/AP)

The shipping containers that come through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach every year would wrap around the Earth two times if you laid them out end-to-end. Those containers are filled with electronics and clothing that are manufactured in places like Asia and then shipped to U.S. retailers.

But there is a dark side to the industry, according to an investigation by the USA Today Network: The drivers who bring those products to nearby rail yards or warehouses are signing lease-to-own contracts for their trucks that condemn them to modern-day indentured servitude.

Here & Now‘s Peter O’Dowd speaks with the reporter who wrote the investigation, Brett Murphy (@BrettMmurphy).

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.