SF Bay Area Indymedia indymedia
About Contact Subscribe Calendar Publish Print Donate

East Bay | Labor & Workers

Port Of Oakland Truckers Association Votes To Authorize Third Work Stoppage
by Port of Oakland Truckers Assoc.
Monday Nov 18th, 2013 11:18 AM
Following a meeting last Wednesday with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), the Port of Oakland Truckers Association (POTA) convened a general membership meeting and voted unanimously for what amounts to a strike authorization if their demands aren’t met.
Following a meeting last Wednesday with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), the Port of Oakland Truckers Association (POTA) convened a general membership meeting and voted unanimously for what amounts to a strike authorization if their demands aren’t met.

During the meeting, which included Mayor Jean Quan, Deputy Mayor Sandré Swanson, and Port of Oakland Executive Director Chris Lytle, a group of activists and community members held a solidarity demonstration in front of City Hall while a near deafening convoy of over 70 port truckers circled Frank Ogawa Plaza in support of their representatives. Truckers honked their horns and community members engaged in a sympathetic noise demonstration for over an hour. Some of the signs on the trucks read “We Want Fair Rates and Respect” and “We Need to Work For the Future of Our Kids.”

“Oakland and the state of California cannot afford to lose 800 jobs. If this were Google or Yahoo laying off 800 workers, it would make national news,” said Frank Adams, a POTA board member.

During negotiations, representatives of POTA pushed for an extension of the CARB-enforced January 1 deadline to acquire trucks built in 2007 or later in order to continue working at the port. In addition, they requested grant funding to help 800 at-risk truckers offset the financial burden of costly truck upgrades required by current law. CARB denied these requests and claimed the deadline could not be extended and available monies had already been reallocated. Before the meeting ended, Mayor Quan and Director Chris Lytle claimed they would take a look into port and city finances to find funding for POTA truckers.

To encourage efficiency at the port, POTA demands include a congestion fee of $50 per hour after the first two hours truckers spend waiting in line to pick up a load. The association is also asking for an emissions fee of $50 per load for all Port of Oakland truck drivers to help offset the costs of buying and maintaining CARB-compliant trucks. Finally, the association is demanding transparency in CARB's relationship with the Port of Oakland, specifically in the enforcement of regulations outlining minimum efficiency of terminal operation.

POTA representatives have made it clear they expect response on funding from city and port officials by Wednesday, November 20. If they are denied funding again, a work stoppage may take place as early as next week. The group has organized two prior work stoppages since August of 2013.

##################################

The Port of Oakland Truckers Association is a self-organized group of owner-operator truckers, formed to unite owner-operator truckers on the Port of Oakland so that all Port truckers have the opportunity to make a sustainable living.

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Gary Grace
( gary [at] expresstranspro.com ) Tuesday Nov 19th, 2013 9:42 AM
They knew about the CARB regulations long ago it is nothing new don't give them anything hire CARB compliant trucks. There are plenty of trucking companies that have done the right thing and upgraded there fleet and I am one of them. I had to get financing and buy new trucks if I can do it they can do it. It needs to be a fair playing field !
by Workers Revolution
Tuesday Nov 19th, 2013 11:01 AM
It seems individual owner Gary Grace likes to think like a capitalist and individual while the Port of Oakland Truckers Assoc. thinks as a collective and cooperative. Workers and humanity will not progress unless they think and act collectively and the port truckers of Oakland and throughout the U.S. need union organization to secure their futures. Gary Grace likes to play the lone wolf and bow to the bankers.

The key to the port truckers organizing is that the Teamsters, ILWU and ILA need to COLLECTIVELY work to organize the truckers not depending on the bosses politicians but on their own organized strength and power. Unfortunetly the present leadership of these organizations like to think like Gary Grace and look out for themselves and the bosses interests.