OAKLAND, Calif. — Some 400 truck drivers, mostly independent owner-operators, began a three-day strike July 18 at the Port of Oakland. They are protesting AB5, a law passed by the California legislature in 2019, that puts extra burdens on owner-operators who don’t want to be employed by trucking companies. The U.S. Supreme Court June 28 declined to hear a challenge to AB5 by the California Trucking Association.
“It’s going to put us out of business,” Carlos Flores, an Oakland-based trucker for almost 20 years, told the Bay Area News Group. “We’re fighting for the right to work.” Truckers protested in the Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach last week. The strike was honored by dockworkers at the SSA terminal July 19. International Longshore and Warehouse Union business agent Melvin Mackay told dozens of longshore workers who had refused to cross the truckers’ picket line, “All you guys can go home!”
“The ILWU will not cross a picket or protest,” Mackay told the Militant. “I think it’s repulsive that the truckers can’t work independently.”
Joel Britton, Socialist Workers Party candidate for governor of California, joined the truckers’ picket lines in solidarity with their fight.