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Port Of Oakland Truckers Association To Meet With City Officials Today For Last Best Offer
Friday Nov 22nd, 2013 11:59 AM
Port of Oakland Truckers Association (POTA) board members are once again
headed into talks with Oakland city officials today, to discuss funding for
mandatory truck upgrades that are putting 800 port jobs on the line.


Port of Oakland Truckers Association (POTA) board members are once again
headed into talks with Oakland city officials today, to discuss funding for
mandatory truck upgrades that are putting 800 port jobs on the line. Deputy
Mayor Sandré Swanson called the meeting just an hour and a half in advance
of the 5pm Friday deadline truckers set last week, when they also
unanimously voted for what amounts to a strike authorization.

“This is a big meeting for us, I hope it’s not just one more day for them
to play with us,” said POTA board member Jorge Esparza.

With 800 jobs at risk, and many truckers applying for microloans to pay
loan payments on upgraded trucks just to keep working, the stakes are high
for Oakland’s Port Truckers, who have engaged in 3 work stoppages since
August. “These truckers are paying so much money and taking on so much
debt, just to keep working,” said Elizabeth Flynn, community activist and
POTA supporter, “it is essentially indentured servitude.”

During negotiations last week, representatives of POTA requested an
extension of the California Air Resources Board (CARB) 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. These requests were denied by CARB, which still has grant
funding and low-interest loans for truckers who agree to stop working at
the Port of Oakland and take longer trips out of town instead. For drivers
who live in the Bay Area and need to stay close to their families, an offer
to work in Fresno and elsewhere was impossible to accept. CARB refused to
reallocate any of the funding to keep Oakland drivers working in Oakland.
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 will meet tonight to discuss whatever offer, if any, comes from
the City and Port of Oakland and decide on further steps. “People are ready
to take action. We hate to do that, especially this time of year, but the
drivers need a merry Christmas too,” said Esparza.


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.

* 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

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Dan
Saturday Nov 23rd, 2013 6:36 AM

The Port truckers remind me very much of gas station owners back in the 1990s. The State of California had given them 10 years warning that they had to install new underground fuel tanks, and offered low cost loans and other help to them. Many owners chose instead to drag their feet, apparently hoping the state would change its mind. The 11th hour came, they hadn't done the work, and they pleaded with regulators to stay open. Regulators said no, as they should have. I'm beginning to think the truckers are more of the same.
by Teamsters Son.
Sunday Nov 24th, 2013 12:49 PM
Electrification will at least allow the oxygen to return to a plus valence again.