This article is taken from the USDA's July 21 Grain Transportation Report.
On July 19, roughly 1,000 owner-operator truckers protesting the enactment of California’s independent contractor law, Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), blocked the gates of the Port of Oakland’s SSA terminal (the port’s largest terminal), as well as the TraPac and Everport terminals.
Approximately 100 members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 10 refused to cross the protest line. The protests shut down most container movement at the port, and continuing actions may either severely restrict operations or keep the port completely shut down.
These disruptions come just as unions and West Coast port employers are negotiating a high-stakes labor contract. Together, the Ports of Oakland, Long Beach, and Los Angeles moved 47 percent of U.S. containerized grain/oilseeds exports (animal feed, hay, bulk grains, and soybeans) in 2021.
On July 11, 70 trade organizations wrote a letter to California’s Governor asking for an executive order to temporarily pause enforcing AB5.
The groups also ask him to call labor and industry to negotiate “to preserve small business trucking in the state of California and prevent further disruptions.” The Governor’s office has reiteratedthat the Governor will not delay or suspend AB5.