OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) — Trucker protests that began on Monday in response to AB5 have “shut down operations” at the Port of Oakland, according to a press release from the Port of Oakland.
AB5 was adopted in 2018 and went into effect June 30 of this year, after the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) refused to hear the case. AB5 is a bill that reclassifies certain independent contractors as employees, giving them the right to earn benefits that come with full-time employment. Now the state of California is providing resources to encourage truckers to comply with the new law.
The California Trucker’s Association (CTA) shared a statement on the SCOTUS decision not to hear the case, “Gasoline has been poured on the fire that is our ongoing supply chain crisis.” Saying the decision could negatively impact 70,000 owner/operator truck drivers in California, CTA called on the California State Legislature and Governor Newsom to take action in the crisis.
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Port of Oakland states there is a congestion of containers sitting at the Oakland Seaport, and port officials are urging terminal operations to resume. “We understand the frustration expressed by the protestors at California ports,” said Danny Wan, Executive Director, Port of Oakland. Wan went on to say that long delays in port operations could have a larger impact and damage all businesses operating through the ports.
Last week trucker protests took also place at ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach in response to AB5. Wan believes that the groups can find a way to move forward, “in a way that accommodates the needs of this vital part of the supply chain.”