Protesters blocking trucks from entering Port of Oakland

If you did not know what AB5 was prior to July 2022, you do now. In an attempt to get California’s governor to delay the implementation of AB5, drivers protested and voiced their intention to maintain their independence shutting down the Port of Oakland for an entire week…July 18-22.

Protestors swarmed trucks and stopped them from entering marine terminals and ancillary container yards. They blocked access to the ILWU parking lots and prohibited labor from getting to work. They picketed and parked trucks in queues to deter access to the marine facilities. In the end, the terminal operators opted not to order labor and operations ceased for the week.

By the end of the week, Governor Newsom made it known he had no intention of delaying AB5’s implementation or making any changes to the law.

The icing on the cake…even though the terminal gates were closed, demurrage is still being assessed. How do you like them apples? Pretty rotten, right?!?

If you need a reminder, AB5 is the California law written to make it difficult to be an entrepreneurial, independent contractor, especially as it relates to trucking since most other industries were carved out of the legislation.

It was passed by the state legislature in 2019. It was effective January 1, 2020. However, the California Trucking Association (CTA) filed a lawsuit against the State on the grounds AB5 was in direct conflict with federal law. The case was heard on December 30, 2019 by the US District Court who agreed with the CTA, and an injunction was placed on its implementation.

The State of California appealed the District Court’s ruling to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the 9th Circuit agreed with the State. However, the injunction remained pending review by the US Supreme Court.

On June 30, 2022, the US Supreme Court opted not to hear the CTA’s appeal to keep the injunction in place, which, had until then, prevented enforcement of the law. In the absence of the US Supreme Court’s review, the injunction was lifted and law was allowed to be implemented.

And, the independent, owner-operator drivers made their opposition to the law and its assault on their independence known.

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