Trucker AB5 protests paralyse US West Coast port

High quality stock photos of container shipping being picked up by semi-trucks at the Port of Oakland

Trucker protests that started Monday over the implementation of AB5 “have effectively shut down operations” at shipping terminals at the Port of Oakland, the port announced.

The shutdown will further exacerbate the congestion of containers dwelling at the Oakland Seaport as port officials urge terminal operations to resume.

“We understand the frustration expressed by the protestors at California ports,” said Danny Wan, Executive Director, 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.”

Transport workers are protesting against the Assembly Bill 5 (AB5) authored by former Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez in 2019. Provisions in the bill require workers to satisfy a three-part test to be considered independent contractors.

READ: Northern European ports on alert as German dockworker strike to go ahead

An injunction in place since 2020 has prevented the law from being enforced; however, on 30 June the Supreme Court declined a petition brought forth by the California Trucking Association (CTA), upholding the full enforcement of the law.

The protests come at a critical time for ports involved in high-stakes West Coast labour talks.

The state is now offering resources to help truckers comply with the law. 

“Truckers are vital to keeping goods moving,” said Wan.

“We trust that implementation of AB5 can be accomplished in a way that accommodates the needs of this vital part of the supply chain.”

In the UK, some 500 dockworkers employed at MDHC container services at Peel Ports in Liverpool will vote on whether to strike in a dispute over pay and conditions.

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