Ships were being loaded and unloaded at the four marine terminals at the US port of Oakland on Friday, but the Pacific Coast port remained effectively closed to truck traffic as drivers continue to protest California’s bill on Labor Law Assembly Bill 5 (AB5).
Truckers are protesting because the new law would require them to be paid employees instead of independent contractors, the business model used by up to 70,000 owner-operators across the state.
Danny Wan, executive director of the Port of Oakland, said in an open letter to truckers that he met with some of the protesters on July 21 to discuss the group’s concerns and goals.
“We are committed to working with the independent trucking community,” Wan said in the letter, adding that he and other port officials have been in constant communication with the governor’s office.
Wan said the port will establish a working group with representatives from both parties that will review concerns about AB5, address trucker amenities and services at the port, and discuss upcoming rules and implementations. clean trucks.
Local authorities have set up free speech zones in a bid to reopen the port to truck traffic, but local media reported that crowds of drivers continued to block truck entrances.
“Owners/operators must comply with all vehicular and local regulations,” the letter states. “Any protester who does not follow the law may be cited and punished by responsible law enforcement.”
The open letter contained a message from the governor’s office.
“California is committed to supporting our truck drivers and ensuring that our state’s truck drivers receive the protections and compensation to which they are entitled,” the statement said. “This administration has employment tax incentives, small business funding and technical assistance resources to support this critical industry.”
“The state will continue to partner with truckers and ports to ensure the continued flow of goods to California residents and businesses, which is essential for all of us,” he said.
The Port of Oakland is the eighth largest port in the United States.
In addition to containers, the port also handles imports and exports of liquid chemicals.
Container ships are relevant to the chemical industry because, while most chemicals are liquid and are shipped in tankers, container ships carry polymers such as polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), which are shipped in pellet form.
Source: CIHI, by Adam Yanelli (https://www.icis.com/explore/resources/news/2022/07/22/10787890/vessel-ops-resume-at-us-port-of-oakland-but-truck-activity-remains-effectively- close/)