Truckers Blockade Shuts California Port Down Hard

For several days in a row, truckers objecting to California’s Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), the state’s gig worker law, have actually closed operations at the shipping port.

The Oakland International Container Terminal (OICT) closed for trucks, in addition to 3 of the port’s other marine terminals. Port officials confirmed that the protests started Monday and “effectively shut down operations at shipping terminals at the Port of Oakland.”

AB5 was passed in 2019 and makes it far harder for businesses to categorize people as independent specialists, instead of staff members. The law was carried out, mostly, in action to gig economy chances like Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash.

Legal obstacles postponed the law from working till January 2020. The concern made its method to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled in 2021 that the law applies to approximately 70,000 truck drivers. A 2-year legal stay was just recently raised when the U.S. Supreme Court decreased to hear a case that would have safeguarded truckers from the law’s effect, according to CBNC.

“We understand the frustration expressed by the protesters at California ports,” said Danny Wan, executive director of the Port of Oakland. “But prolonged stoppage of port operations in California for any reason will damage all the businesses operating at the ports and cause California ports to further suffer market-share losses to competing ports.”

Most of the truck drivers are independent specialists and according to reports want state authorities to offer them an exemption from the law, as they have in other markets.

“So far there has been no contact with the governor’s office. It seems the governor is not concerned about taking American workers’ rights away,” said Bill Aboudi, owner of AB Trucking. “These are independent, small businesses that choose to operate their own trucks, and now that right is taken away from them. They do pay taxes, they do have insurance. It’s their choice to do that.”

The representative from the governor’s office told CNBC that with the court’s rejecting appeals, it’s time to “move forward, comply with the law and work together to create a fairer and more sustainable industry for all.”

The Oakland port is the state’s third busiest shipping container port, and the demonstration is threatening to worsen interruptions to America’s currently stretched supply chain.

“It may go on for a few more weeks or a few more months,” Gary Schergill, the general manager for the Oakland-based trucking company J & S Drayage LLC, told the Wall Street Journal. “We’d like to have a sit-down.”

Presently, the dock is so supported that as soon as dockworkers have the ability to resume typical operations, they will not get much done. The president of SSA containers, which managed almost three-fourths of the freight at the port, says the container lawns are so complete they just have area to move about 2,000 of the 10,000 containers they normally relocate a day.

H/T Timcast

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