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Port of Oakland urges owner-ops to end AB 5 protests

Trucking news and briefs for Thursday, July 21, 2022:

As owner-operators’ protests over the AB 5 independent contractor law are ongoing Thursday for the fourth day at the Port of Oakland, port officials are attempting to reason with the protestors to end the demonstrations.

In a statement issued Wednesday, the port said the protests that started Monday “have effectively shut down operations at shipping terminals at the Port of Oakland,” which will “exacerbate the congestion of containers dwelling at the Oakland Seaport.”

On Thursday, Oakland’s largest marine terminal, Oakland International Container Terminal operated by Stevedoring Services of America, closed its operations, and the three other marine terminals have some shipping operations underway, according to Robert Bernardo, Port of Oakland’s director of communications.

Port of Oakland Executive Director Danny Wan sympathized with the truck drivers but urged them to allow terminal operations to resume.

“We understand the frustration expressed by the protestors at California ports,” Wan said. “But prolonged stoppage of port operations in California for any reason will damage all the businesses operating at the ports and cause California ports to further suffer market share losses to competing ports.”

The statement also mentions that California is offering resources to help drivers comply with the law, though specifics about those resources were not mentioned.

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