The Harbor Truck Association (HTA) reported that on July 13th, harbor truckers were protesting at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach after the U.S. Supreme Court decision not to challenge California’s Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), also commonly referred to as the “Gig-worker bill”. Many companies that hire truckers to move their goods are less than thrilled by the bill, as it would require companies to reclassify truckers previously considered as independent contractors as employees. With the title of “employee”, it would qualify the truckers for paid time off, medical coverage, rest breaks, and minimum wage, among other benefits.
Though this is seen as agreeable for some truck drivers, others who sincerely wish to operate as an independent driver see it as a threat to their livelihoods, as the bill would inherently prevent some drivers from accepting contracts from other trucking companies. When voicing concerns for truckers who wish to establish this independent status to the Supreme Court over unclear or generally vague guidelines in the bill, it fell on deaf ears. As stated by Matt Schrap, CEO of the HTA, “Unfortunately, it didn’t matter how many independent drivers stood up and expressed concerns during the legislative process for AB5 in 2019, they were basically ignored and essentially told by the Governor and the legislature what was best for them and their families.”
AB5 initially went into effect on January 1st, 2020, but has been blocked from being implemented due to an injunction handed down by a U.S. District Court in California the same month. That injunction has kept the block in place up until current day, though it could be lifted “any day now,” according to HTA. An article published by the American Journal of Transportation reports further on the protest and the sentiment between the HTA and AB5.
To read the article, Click Here.