Labor issues are common in the maritime industry. Cargo operators in California and across the nation need to have viable solutions to deal with them, even if they are not directly involved. There is no doubt that truckers are a key link in the chain. Their role is crucial and any problems that arise can make operations difficult.
In recent years, ongoing delays have been a challenge at ports all over the world with bottlenecks and companies striving for ways to clear backlogs. Recently, truckers’ protests over a California law have added to the list of concerns.
AB 5 and its aftermath spark trucker protests
California’s controversial AB 5 rule that categorized truck owner-operators as employees of the companies they are working for has been the catalyst for industry-wide protests. The Supreme Court refused to review the case objecting to the rule and truckers responded by lodging protests. They proceeded to block the entrances at the Port of Oakland. This resulted in weeklong delays adding to the already slow pace of transportation to and from the port. Containers moving through the Oakland port were reduced to 20% of its normal volume during the protest.
AB 5 has been worrisome for so-called “gig” workers since it went into effect. There are around 70,000 independent truckers and they are fearful of the industry-wide changes and costs. This is happening just as deliveries are ramping up for the holiday season. The California Trucking Association (CTA) lamented the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear the case and said truckers would be saddled with major financial and personal difficulties. Trucking companies are weighing their options with some changing their business model and letting them separate themselves from independent truckers.
Businesses must be aware of labor difficulties and how their business is impacted
With admiralty and maritime law, it is important to understand the complexities of the industry and address them immediately. While this is a trucking company and independent owner-operator dispute over a complicated law, it is impacting port operators and how they go about their business. It is just one obstacle in a business rife with them every day.
That includes labor disagreements, the Jones Act, personal injury, sales, purchases, leasing and U.S. customs. For representation that can cover all these issues and more, it is useful to contact those who are experienced in a wide range of cases. This can help with trying to find worthwhile and effective paths to keep the business operating smoothly and safely.