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'All the terminals are shut down': Owner-ops' AB 5 protests hit Port of Oakland

Updated Jul 23, 2022

Trucking news and briefs for Tuesday, July 19, 2022:

Following last week’s protests over AB 5 at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, port owner-operators on Monday began similar protests at the Port of Oakland that are expected to last at least through Wednesday.

As previously reported, the protests are in response to the Supreme Court’s decision late last month to decline to hear the California Trucking Association’s challenge to the law that upends the traditional leased owner-operator model in California.

Robert Bernardo, director of communications for the Port of Oakland, said Tuesday morning that while the full impact of Monday’s protest activity is unknown, there were “some disruptions of truck access at our marine terminal gates. We do anticipate that not as much cargo was delivered yesterday as one would see on a normal Monday.”

Bernardo added that the marine terminals at the port remained open throughout most of the day Monday but said International Longshore and Warehouse Union workers were not reporting to work at the SSA Marine terminal Tuesday. Attempts to reach ILWA to determine if the work stoppage were because of the trucker protests went unreturned as of publication time Tuesday.

Small fleet owner Bill Aboudi, employing company drivers now with his AB Trucking carrier, noted different events unfolding Monday and Tuesday, saying that “all the terminals are shut down” today as protestors ramped up efforts in response to what Aboudi sees as port officials’ attempt to downplay the protest impacts on Monday. 

“For a government agency to do that, it’s pathetic,” Aboudi said. “State the facts, don’t spin it. You’re not a PR machine.” Port officials, he contended, too often act as if they only “consider the terminal operators and the steamship lines as their customers, and forget about the truckers. But we’re here. You need to consider us your partner; we certainly consider the port our partner.”

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