truckers strike Port of Los Angeles Long Beach

Truckers, with ILWU Help, Disrupt Port of Oakland Over AB 5

The Port of Oakland can now not declare operations haven’t been affected by truckers hanging over the California’s Meeting Invoice 5 (AB 5), which ends the impartial proprietor and operator mannequin of trucking in California. The controversial regulation requires truckers to be categorized as workers of trucking corporations, threatening to take away from the roads and ports 70,000 impartial truckers, who’ve invested quite a lot of cash and sometimes delight themselves on being impartial and self-employed.

On Tuesday, with an help from ILWU dockworkers, truckers majorly disrupted the Port of Oakland and by Wednesday, operations on the port had principally screeched to a halt.

Final week, once we blogged about truckers hanging over AB 5, the ports claimed there had been no impact on operations. There had been a pair terminal disruptions on the time, however they mentioned these had been unrelated.

One of many largest fears with a strike, as impartial truckers are doing over this regulation, is that the Worldwide Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) will resolve to not cross the picket strains, successfully shutting down operations on the port. With the earlier grasp contract expired since July 1st, there isn’t a longer a no strike provision in place to cease the union from hanging, whether or not over their very own grievances or in solidarity with one other hanging group.

On Tuesday, the ILWU selected to honor the truckers’ picket line, refusing to cross and shutting down the Port of Oakland’s largest terminal.

Clarissa Hawes reported in FreightWaves:

Roughly 100 members of the Worldwide Longshore and Warehouse Union Native 10 refused to cross the protest line Tuesday as owner-operators blocked the gates of the SSA terminal, which is the biggest operator on the Port of Oakland, in opposition of California’s controversial impartial contractor regulation, AB5.

FreightWaves interviewed some Longshoremen who refused to work, printing the form of quote shippers have been afraid of seeing from union members:

“We’re working with out a contract proper now so we help the owner-operators and perceive what they’re making an attempt to do,” mentioned George, a nine-year ILWU member.

The dockworker makes use of the expiration of the most recent labor contract at West Coast ports as a trigger for the ILWU members to help truckers and shut down Oaklands largest terminal. Fortunately, the quote doesn’t present quite a lot of animus from the dockworkers towards their employers, members of the Pacific Maritime Affiliation (PMA). Such enmity would improve concern {that a} strike based mostly on the union’s personal grievances is probably going on the way in which.

Nevertheless, there’s a clear struggle over the difficulty of automation taking part in out between the PMA and ILWU. Moreover, seeing 100 ILWU members principally executing a secondary strike in help of truckers that shuts down a significant port terminal is greater than sufficient so as to add to the concern shippers have over disruption on the ports from potential contentious contract negotiations.

AB 5 has typically had the backing of unions as a result of, from the start, one in every of its said targets by these supporting it, together with unions and politicians, has been to unionize drivers. It makes ILWU members’ determination to face with truckers opposing the invoice an attention-grabbing selection. Shippers are left to marvel how a lot the ILWU’s contract negotiations performed into union members honoring truckers’ picket strains.

There actually does appear to be ambivalence from the ILWU on whether or not to help truckers protesting AB 5, because the dockworkers didn’t honor the picket strains in any respect the terminals on the Port of Oakland.

Invoice Mongelluzzo reported within the Journal of Commerce (JOC):

A spokesperson for the port confirmed that OICT — Oakland’s largest container terminal — was closed, however mentioned Oakland’s three different container terminals remained open into the daytime shift regardless of truckers additionally picketing these amenities. “Matson, TraPac, and Nutter [Evergreen] are all open,” the spokesperson mentioned.

Nevertheless, Hawes’s FreightWaves article provides extra element to the scene:

Almost 1,000 owner-operators, who confirmed up early Tuesday, additionally blocked entry to the TraPac and Everport terminals, principally shutting down many of the container motion on the port.

So whereas the port spokesperson was doing his or her finest to downplay the affect truckers protesting AB 5 had been having, they clearly disrupted these terminals the spokesperson mentioned had been open.

On Wednesday, truckers successfully continued their protest on the Port of Oakland.

Edwin Lopez reported in Provide Chain Dive:

A second day of protests on the Port of Oakland led to extra widespread closures and enterprise impacts, as a whole bunch of truckers and allies descended on the port to rally in opposition to AB5.

Someplace between 500 and 1,000 folks confirmed up for the second day of protests, although it was tough to estimate the precise headcount. Individuals had been break up throughout the assorted terminal gates and rail ramps on the Port of Oakland, with 50 to 100 folks at every location, protesters instructed Transport Dive.

Nonetheless, their presence made an affect, as truck exercise floor to a halt at some, if not all, port terminals.

Waterside exercise continued at some terminals, however truck gate exercise was “both minimal or shutdown relying on the terminal,” Roberto Bernardo, director of communications on the Port of Oakland, instructed Transport Dive in an electronic mail.

CBS San Francisco reported late on Wednesday:

Officers on the Port of Oakland mentioned operations have been shut down resulting from ongoing protests by impartial truckers over AB5, which can quickly take impact.

The port mentioned in a press release Wednesday that the shutdown will additional exacerbate the congestion of containers on the port.

“We perceive the frustration expressed by the protestors at California ports,” mentioned Danny Wan, the port’s government director. “However, extended stoppage of port operations in California for any purpose will harm all the companies working on the ports and trigger California ports to additional undergo market share losses to competing ports.”

U.S. East Coast ports acquired a lift in market share lately resulting from shippers avoiding West Coast ports for concern of ILWU contract negotiations inflicting port disruptions. The shippers who made that selection are in all probability feeling superb about their determination proper now. Nonetheless, there are many shippers making an attempt to maneuver cargo by West Coast ports, together with the Port of Oakland proper now.

Mongelluzzo identified in his article the unlucky timing of the disruption on the Port of Oakland, past that it coincides with the ILWU’s contract negotiations with the PMA:

The work stoppage at OICT, which handles about 70 % of Oakland’s container quantity, comes at an inopportune time for the Northern California port with the height delivery season starting to unfold. Imports from Asia to Oakland elevated 1.3 % in June over Could, and had been up 11.7 % from June 2021, in accordance with PIERS, a sister product inside S&P World.

We’ll must see how operations go on the Port of Oakland right this moment. Initially, this was set to be a really quick demonstration, however the truckers have already been speaking about extending it to make their message of stopping AB 5 heard.

Lopez reported in his article:

…whereas initially the protests had been meant to final solely till Wednesday, [Navdeep Ngill, the president of Ocean Rail Logistics and a designated spokesperson for the movement] mentioned the owner-operators had mentioned extending the efforts by a minimum of Friday.

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