What started out as rumors became reality Wednesday as a few hundred independent truck drivers began a protest at and around the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Picket lines and slow-rolling convoys gained steam, causing long traffic delays along the I-110 and I-710 expressways. AB5 is now forced on independent drivers after SCOTUS refused to grant certiorari on hearing the CTA vs. Bonta case.
Social media explodes with videos and messages from the protests
There has been a flood of media coverage following the protests in Southern California. From helicopter footage showing the convoys snaking their way along interstate highways to the large gatherings outside the gates of the port terminals, eyes are now on the independent truckers of the area.
BTU and FreightWaves are working to gather and report on the activities that are set to continue today. A Facebook post on the LA & LB Ports group shows a message that another rally is set for the Port of Long Beach today, July 14. You can be sure the brethren at Port of Los Angeles will be working on their own plans as well.
Port police are making sure safety and constitutional rights are protected, while maintaining flow of traffic into and out of the Port of Long Beach. This video shows a law enforcement officer having a conversation with a member of the protest group to check and verify that all involved were following the law.
Protests move upstate starting Monday
For those thinking it is just the SoCal ports having protests, members of the drayage community have announced that they plan to start their own protest beginning Monday. Drivers operating at the Port of Oakland have said they will have “at least” a 24-hour protest.
Local media is trying to downplay the size and scope of the protests. Port officials have said operations have not been affected so far. A full shutdown was never a part of messaging that protests have used. Many of the local companies are trying to get drivers to become W-2 employees, but those drivers do not want to give up their independence.
Others worry about being forced into unions, where they may or may not have the ability to make their own choices. Drivers worry they may be forced into worse working conditions or have their voice taken away similar to the “UPS No Vote,” where union negotiators used loopholes to ratify a new contract, even though 54% had voted no.
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