Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Los Angeles Approves Port Trucker Employee-Only Schedule

The governing board for the Port of Los Angeles on Monday approved new trucking regulations that will phase out independent owner-operator drayage drivers by the end of 2013 in lieu of per-hour employee drivers.

The employee-only mandate and several other components of an access license scheme contained in the truck program were cleared for implementation when US District Court Judge Christina Snyder dissolved an injunction against the components on Sept. 16.

Judge Snyder's ruling is being appealed by the American Trucking Association to the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The ATA has also requested that Judge Snyder stay the removal of the injunction until the Ninth Circuit can fully review the case. A hearing has been set by Judge Snyder for Oct. 25.

The new employee-only mandate could impact more than 6,000 port-servicing drivers that are currently independent owner-operators. Portions of the truck plan implemented since 2008 resulted in more than 10,000 drivers leaving the port drayage service and the shuttering of hundreds of local mostly small trucking firms.

The new three-year phase-in schedule approved Monday calls for 20 percent of all gate calls at the port to be handled by employee drivers by the end of 2011, 66 percent by the end of 2012 and 100 percent by the end of 2013.

An additional truck program component that was previously enjoined calls for the truckers servicing the port to have an off-street parking plan in place. The new schedule will extend the deadline for trucking firms to have such a plan until Jan. 1, 2011, with enforcement expected to begin July 1, 2011.