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Truck drivers continue protests at Port of Oakland

Posted at 7:03 AM, Jul 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-22 10:03:38-04

OAKLAND, Calif. (KERO) — Independent truckers say they will continue their strike at the Port of Oakland indefinitely over the state's new gig worker law.

AB5 requires trucking companies to reclassify independent drivers as employees and many worry they'll be forced to join a union or give up their current lifestyle.

The 2019 statute could impact 70,000 truck drivers statewide after the recent lifting of a two year legal stay.

They're asking for change to prevent abuse of independent contractors.

The protest has effectively ground work at the Port of Oakland, the ninth busiest port in the world, to a halt.

Experts say if this goes on much longer there could be a fresh set of supply chain nightmares to deal with.

"So you can imagine if there's a stoppage it's kinda like a crimp in a hose and the water is going to back up very quickly. It's not going to take a long time of this type of disruption before it's going to break at least the port of Oakland," said Larry Gross, president and founder of Gross Transportation Consulting.

The Port of Oakland handles about 98,000 containers a month which can be pushed to other ports like L.A or Long Beach at the moment.

Nearly one third of all containers coming into the U.S. enter through L.A .and Long Beach.

The truckers have been told they have until Monday to move along.

They are in regular talks with the Port of Oakland and are hoping to get the attention of lawmakers in Sacramento protect them.