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Truckers plan LA/Long Beach work stoppage Wednesday to protest AB5

Truckers plan LA/Long Beach work stoppage Wednesday to protest AB5


Affected by California's AB5 bill, truck drivers in the three major ports in the western United States - Los Angeles, Long Beach and Oakland announced that they will strike one after another starting today! To make matters worse, labor negotiations for the U.S. national freight railroad are also facing a deadline, and if the government refuses to intervene, the railroads and unions will choose to shut down or go on strike next Monday. This would exacerbate the container backlog at the Port of Los Angeles/Long Beach, and would further increase port congestion in the eastern U.S., with a "catastrophic" impact on the weakened U.S. economy.




The Port of Los Angeles/Long Beach will go on strike from July 13, US time, and the Port of Oakland will go on strike from the 18th, US time. About 100 truck drivers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have stopped working to protest the controversial legislation, according to an update at 4 p.m. U.S. time on Wednesday. A spokesman for the Port of Los Angeles confirmed Wednesday morning that the shutdown had not disrupted activity at the terminal. "The Port of Los Angeles Police will assist in ensuring that all parties can express their First Amendment rights while ensuring the port continues to operate safely," the spokesman said. The Port of Long Beach also confirmed Wednesday that access and roads to the terminal remain open for now.


On June 28, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the California Trucking Associations lawsuit against AB5, sending the case back to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. An owner and operator planning to take part in a port strike said he did not want to be an employee driver, preferring to remain an independent contractor. Gordon Reimer, manager of Southern California-based FHE Express, said the company uses 75 owners and operators to move cargo between ports in Southern California, many of whom plan to participate in Wednesday's strike. He has informed the trucking company's customers that the strike could cause delays in shipments.


In the north, a number of trucking companies carrying containers in and out of the Port of Auckland have been notified by owner-operators that they plan to strike next Monday (July 18). Bill Aboudi, president of AB Trucking, said it shifted to a hire-based business model a few years ago, but as the impact of AB5 became apparent, many trucking companies serving California ports are closing, selling or moving operations out of California. Some older owner-operators are being forced to leave the industry. Some young independent operators are either looking for another career or leaving California entirely to drive trucks elsewhere.


The Association of Locomotive Engineers and Train Workers (BLET), which represents the 23,000 workers affected by the negotiations, said on Tuesday that more than 99 percent of its members voted to approve the strike. The U.S. railroad industry is already plagued by staffing shortages that have affected fertilizer shipments and caused congestion at major U.S. seaports. In May, the head of the independent federal agency that oversees the rail industry lashed out at the railroad, saying the railroad had cut 45,000 jobs over the past six years, or almost 30 percent of its workforce. Amtrak has assured investors that it is negotiating with unions over pay, furlough and health care cost-sharing and making progress on hiring and retention.


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