Truckers block the Port of Oakland in protest over new California law that classifies them as "employees"...

The Tradition

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Apr 23, 2002
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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Truckers protesting a state labor law have effectively shut down cargo operations at the Port of Oakland, it was announced Wednesday.

“The shutdown will further exacerbate the congestion of containers” and port officials are urging operations at shipping terminals to resume, a port statement said.

The protest that began Monday involves hundreds of independent big-rig truckers that have blocked the movement of cargo in and out of terminals at the port, which is one of the 10 busiest container ports in the country, according to its website.

There was no immediate word on when the protest might end but it’s exacerbating supply-chain issues that already have led to cargo ship traffic jams at major ports and stockpiled goods on the dock.

The protest comes as toymakers and other industries enter their peak season for imports as retailers stockpile goods for the fall holidays and back-to-school items.

The truckers are protesting Assembly Bill 5, a gig economy law passed in 2019 that made it harder for companies to classify workers as independent contractors instead of employees, who are entitled to minimum wage and benefits such as workers compensation, overtime and sick pay.

A federal appeals court ruled last year that law applies to some 70,000 truck drivers who can be classified as employees of companies that hire them instead of independent contractors.

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters called it a “massive victory” for exploited truckers. But the California Trucking Association, which sued over the law, had argued the law could make it harder for independent drivers who own their own trucks and operate on their own hours to make a living by forcing them to be classified as employees.

The legal battle stalled enforcement of the law but last month the U.S. Supreme Court recently decided it wouldn’t review the decision.

Truckers are now asking Gov. Gavin Newsom to meet and discuss the issue.

Meanwhile, there’s been no word on when the state might begin enforcing the law, which is still being contested in lower courts.

Messages seeking comment from the governor’s office and the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development weren’t immediately returned Wednesday evening.

The director of the business and economic development office, Dee Dee Myers, emailed CNBC that “it’s time to move forward, comply with the law and work together to create a fairer and more sustainable industry for all.”

Ports already have been struggling to handle container traffic, much of it from Asia. After the COVID-19 pandemic began to take hold in 2020, cargo traffic to ports slumped drastically. But then it recovered and has been booming since.

“We understand the frustration expressed by the protestors at California ports,” Port of Oakland Executive Director Danny Wan said in the port statement. “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.”

While the port handles many different types of cargo, it is an important distribution point for California’s agricultural products.

“The supply chain already is in crisis. This is a huge disruption,” Peter Friedmann, executive director of the Agriculture Transportation Coalition told the Wall Street Journal.


Government knows what's best for you. Now shut up and drive.
 
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THE_DEVIL

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If one does a deep dive into this law the independent trucker will end up for the better in the long run.

From my understanding (and I could be very wrong) the issue is trucking corporations who do not own any trucks basically making truckers indentured servants by offering lease to own schemes that force the "independent operators" to purchase fuel, insurance and only approved mechanics, etc. The big fall out is that those in the lease to own program will now lose their equity in their vehicles. This law has been in the public sphere for a long time and once aware truckers had other avenues of action to take to preserve their security. I understand why the Union is against it, it would suck for it to have to try and sign up thousands of actual independent operators.

No matter how bad this ****s up the industry there will still be the product to haul and while it does suck for some truckers it will in the long run be the correct course of action.

But I could be full of hot air and not understand the issue at all so take this for what it is worth. :)
 

The Tradition

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Apr 23, 2002
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If one does a deep dive into this law the independent trucker will end up for the better in the long run.

From my understanding (and I could be very wrong) the issue is trucking corporations who do not own any trucks basically making truckers indentured servants by offering lease to own schemes that force the "independent operators" to purchase fuel, insurance and only approved mechanics, etc. The big fall out is that those in the lease to own program will now lose their equity in their vehicles. This law has been in the public sphere for a long time and once aware truckers had other avenues of action to take to preserve their security. I understand why the Union is against it, it would suck for it to have to try and sign up thousands of actual independent operators.

No matter how bad this ****s up the industry there will still be the product to haul and while it does suck for some truckers it will in the long run be the correct course of action.

But I could be full of hot air and not understand the issue at all so take this for what it is worth. :)

Yes, you're full of hot air.
 

HawkMachine

HR All-American
Jul 6, 2020
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Not sure exactly what's going on but leave it to CA to screw up something pretty simple.

You own your own rig and decide what you haul? Self-employed and getting a 1099.

Drive a company truck and go where they tell you? Employee and getting a W-2.

Normally if there's a "problem", it's companies giving drivers 1099's when they SHOULD be employees and paying payroll tax, etc.
 

sober_teacher

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Mar 26, 2007
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John Oliver did a segment on this that I thought was interesting.

I’m all for guys who want to operate independently, but my understanding is that treating all truckers as independent contractors which was done decades ago, has had a whole host of unintended consequences.
 

HawkMachine

HR All-American
Jul 6, 2020
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It looks like this bill was maybe primarily aimed at Uber and Lyft type drivers. Not sure still looking into it.

If the truckers themselves are against it, I'm sure it's a bunch of BS and another Gavin Newsom f up.
 

DogBoyRy

HR Legend
Jul 28, 2006
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John Oliver did a segment on this that I thought was interesting.

I’m all for guys who want to operate independently, but my understanding is that treating all truckers as independent contractors which was done decades ago, has had a whole host of unintended consequences.
You mean like hurt trucking companies controlled by teamsters?
 

sober_teacher

HR Legend
Mar 26, 2007
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You mean like hurt trucking companies controlled by teamsters?

I don’t recall the segment completely but I seem to remember that coming up.

One thing I didn’t know was that most semi-trucks are owned by their driver, not the company.
 
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Freeze their bank accounts.
justin-trudeau-dc.jpg
 

THE_DEVIL

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Aug 16, 2005
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3.2 million people..

Tucker Carlson Tonight completed the quarter as the top-rated program in its timeslot in both categories, averaging 3.4 million viewers and 567,000 in the demo, as well as 360,000 in the 18-49 category. FNC also finished the month of March with the number one program in cable news in all categories, with Tucker Carlson Tonight delivering 3.2 million viewers and 521,000 in the A25-54 demo and 331,000 in the in A18-49 category.

Remember, FOX is only an entertainment channel
 

The Tradition

HR King
Apr 23, 2002
112,004
84,524
113
3.2 million people..

Tucker Carlson Tonight completed the quarter as the top-rated program in its timeslot in both categories, averaging 3.4 million viewers and 567,000 in the demo, as well as 360,000 in the 18-49 category. FNC also finished the month of March with the number one program in cable news in all categories, with Tucker Carlson Tonight delivering 3.2 million viewers and 521,000 in the A25-54 demo and 331,000 in the in A18-49 category.

Remember, FOX is only an entertainment channel

FoxNews pulls in 30 percent of the "politics talk" segment. All the others fight over the other 70 percent.