November 29, 2022

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Trucker protest over gig worker law shuts down operations at California port

OAKLAND, Calif. — Truckers protesting a state labor legislation effectively shut down cargo operations at the Port of Oakland, it was declared Wednesday.

“The shutdown will even more exacerbate the congestion of containers” and port officials are urging operations at delivery terminals to resume, a port statement stated.

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

There was no instant term on when the protest might conclusion but it is exacerbating supply-chain troubles that presently have led to cargo ship site visitors jams at main ports and stockpiled merchandise on the dock.

The protest comes as toymakers and other industries enter their peak year for imports as merchants stockpile merchandise for the fall holidays and back again-to-school items.

The truckers are protesting Assembly Monthly bill 5, a gig economic system legislation handed in 2019 that manufactured it tougher for providers to classify personnel as unbiased contractors alternatively of workforce, who are entitled to bare minimum wage and gains this sort of as staff compensation, extra time and unwell pay.

A federal appeals court ruled last yr that regulation applies to some 70,000 truck motorists who can be categorised as workers of firms that hire them alternatively of impartial contractors.

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters called it a “massive victory” for exploited truckers. But the California Trucking Association, which sued around the law, had argued the regulation could make it harder for impartial motorists who very own their have vehicles and operate on their possess hrs to make a dwelling by forcing them to be categorised as employees.

The legal fight stalled enforcement of the law but very last month the U.S. Supreme Courtroom not long ago resolved it wouldn’t critique the final decision.

Truckers are now asking Gov. Gavin Newsom to meet up with and talk about the challenge.

In the meantime, there’s been no word on when the condition might start off enforcing the law, which is however staying contested in lessen courts.

Messages trying to find comment from the governor’s business office and the Governor’s Workplace of Company and Economic Growth weren’t instantly returned Wednesday evening.

The director of the company and financial improvement place of work, Dee Dee Myers, emailed CNBC that “it’s time to go ahead, comply with the regulation and operate with each other to produce a fairer and extra sustainable market for all.”

Ports previously have been battling to tackle container visitors, much of it from Asia. Immediately after the Covid-19 pandemic commenced to choose hold in 2020, cargo targeted visitors to ports slumped greatly. But then it recovered and has been booming due to the fact.

“We comprehend the irritation expressed by the protestors at California ports,” Port of Oakland Govt Director Danny Wan reported in the port assertion. “But, prolonged stoppage of port functions in California for any motive will destruction all the organizations running at the ports and induce California ports to more undergo industry share losses to competing ports.”

Although the port handles several unique kinds of cargo, it is an critical distribution stage for California’s agricultural items.

“The offer chain now is in crisis. This is a enormous disruption,” Peter Friedmann, govt director of the Agriculture Transportation Coalition advised the Wall Street Journal.