For the third consecutive day, hundreds of independent truckers protested Wednesday at the Port of Oakland. The truckers' main demand is the repeal of provisions in California State Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), which would eliminate much of the independent trucking industry on the docks. Hundreds of truckers blocked the entrances to the docks with their trucks, bringing operations to a standstill. Similar actions have taken place throughout the state, and are being loosely organized through informal social networks and social media. The protests in Oakland have grown significantly since Monday, when roughly 100 truckers took part. This grew Tuesday to between 900 and 1000, according to FreightWaves. Operations were heavily impacted Wednesday. The action is set to continue through the week, and truckers are also discussing the possibility of a demonstration at the state capital of Sacramento.
Hyundai Motor is struggling to move finished cars so it can make more cars, while more than half of the country's ready-mix concrete factories have suspended operations due to a halt in the shipment of cement. Unionized truck drivers have been on a strike since Tuesday demanding higher wages and an extension of support measures, which expire at the end of this year. They blocked gates at distribution centers and refused to transport cargo. Cargo Truckers Solidarity, a union, is leading of strike, and more than 7,000 people are participating, according to local media reports. About one-third of all unionized truckers have joined in, though the number varied by the day. The truck drivers and the government have been negotiating all weekend but have so far failed reach a compromise.
Baltimore, MD - At a CNN town hall event Thursday evening, President Joe Biden revealed that he is considering using National Guard troops to ease the bottleneck at Southern California ports. In response to questioning from moderator Anderson Cooper, Biden said the plans potentially include having soldiers drive trucks from the ports to warehouses and distribution centers. This would mean the militarization of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which handle 40 percent of US imports. It would be a direct state attack on longshoremen, truck drivers and warehouse workers, with soldiers serving essentially as scabs operating in behalf of the private owners of the ports, trucking firms, shipping companies and major retailers such as Walmart. It could also directly impact rail workers.
One of the world’s largest trucking companies, XPO Logistics, agreed Tuesday to pay $30 million to settle class-action lawsuits filed by hundreds of drivers who said they earned less than minimum wage delivering goods for major retailers from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The combined settlements, approved by U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner, addressed allegations that two XPO subsidiaries, XPO Logistics Cartage in Commerce and San Diego and XPO Port Service in Rancho Dominguez, paid drivers less-than-legal wages, failed to pay them for missed meal and rest periods, and failed to reimburse them for business expenses or for waiting-time penalties. The settlements amounted to a major victory for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which applauded the lawsuits as part of a decades-long effort to organize the twin ports’ more than 13,000 drivers.