Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Oakland Port Truckers Threaten to Go on Strike

The Port of Oakland Truckers Association, a self-organized group of owner-operator truckers, is threatening to go on strike by the end of the month if the port won’t help pay for anti-pollution truck retrofits required by an upcoming state-mandated deadline.

Representatives of the Truckers Association have pushed for an extension of the California Air Resources Board-enforced deadline of Jan. 1 to acquire trucks built in 2007 or later in order to continue working at the port. Pre-2007 trucks can continue to operate at the port provided they undergo significant retrofitting, estimated about $80,000 per truck.

The Association has also asked for grant funding to help about 800 at-risk truckers offset the financial burden of costly truck upgrades required by the law.

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and port Executive Director Chris Lytle have said they would take a look into port and city finances to try finding funding for port truckers.

The Truckers Association says that if it does not receive a response regarding funding from city and port officials by Wed., Nov. 20, or if they are denied funding, a work stoppage could take place as early as the last week of November.

The Association previously conducted a work stoppage at the port Oct. 21 to protest what they call unsafe working conditions and unfair compensation. Multiple terminals at the port had their operations shut down or slowed by the one-day protest, which began at 5 am.