Oakland starts clearing container backlog after truck driver blockade ends

Containers started moving again early last week through the Northern California Port of Oakland after independent truck drivers ended the protests that had virtually shut down the port for almost a week

Officials at the private operators of Oakland’s shipping terminals said they were clearing backlogs of ships and containers.

The owner-operators of trucks had been protesting against the implementation of AB5, a gig economy law originally proposed four years ago, mainly to protect the rights of Uber drivers. However, its impact would have spread to owner-operators, who said that they were being forced against their will to take on employee status.

Although the law went into effect for a range of professions in 2020, a legal challenge by the trucking sector held up enforcement in the trucking industry. The US Supreme Court has just refused to review the case, sending it back to a state court and potentially allowing California to begin enforcing the law, should it get approval from the lower court.

Activity first resumed slowly on Saturday July 30th and by last Monday August 1st the gates were clear and trucks were moving.

A spokesman for California’s Democratic Party Governor Gavin Newsom said that the owner-operators should “focus on supporting this transition” to the new law.