In today’s world, the news moves quickly. We reported recently about how the AB-5 protests in the port of Oakland, Long Beach, and Los Angeles were subject to blockage due to protests against California’s Assembly Bill 5, which would outlaw the owner-operator model except under specific circumstances. At this point in time, however, things have mostly returned to normal.
While the Port of Oakland is experiencing normal operations, the protests are far from over. The protesting truckers have negotiated with local law enforcement to keep the port open while allowing designated “free speech” zones for the truckers to protest and have their voices heard without causing issues for the port.
While the protests were not violent, their ramifications have yet to fully be seen. All three ports send and receive various goods of different levels of critical importance. One such example may be automotive manufacturing parts. With truck and trailer sales being restricted due to supply-side issues, it is possible these protests will have an effect on July and August truck and trailer sales numbers.
California’s AB-5 bill, originally intended to curb worker exploitation by gig economy companies such as DoorDash and Uber, has been met with overwhelming negative response from the trucking industry. In a time where truckers continue to prove to be as important to society as ever, the bill’s implementation is impeccable. The icing on the cake is that the original companies it was intended to target have campaigned themselves to be exempt from this law, due to a proposition that was passed by California voters.
Ultimately, the protests may not have been needed. 90% of truckers that deliver to and from the Port of Oakland worked on the owner-operator business model. If those truckers have difficulty operating properly due to the legal red tape, the port of Oakland will naturally see a drastic reduction in how many goods it is able to handle.
It is still too early to weigh how much of an impact the AB-5 bill will have on the trucking industry as a whole, but just like how the mile tax proposed in Connecticut had truckers calling for a boycott, we may just see things in the Golden State become a lot more complicated for everyone involved.
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