Port of Oakland sues AB5 protestors

The City of Oakland and the Port of Oakland have filed suit against owner-operator lorry drivers who have been protesting at the port against California’s controversial AB5 contractor law, which the small businessmen claim will force them to become employees of larger businesses.

The suit was filed at the Superior Court of California, and includes an application for a temporary restraining order to prevent what it refers to as the “illegal activities” of the protestors.

The port hired a private investigator to report on the protestors’ behaviour and to identify some of them. It is these individuals who are named as defendants in the suit, alongside 2,000 unnamed defendants. The alleged “illegal activities” he observed include walking other than on the left edge of the roadway, failure to yield, stopping or delaying traffic in a marked or unmarked crosswalk, trespassing and other infractions.

The suit also claims that the truckers undertook “a carefully planned and orchestrated campaign intended to block traffic, create life safety hazards for persons intending to work and/or do business” at the port and that the aim was to “prevent vital interstate and international commerce from being conducted.”

The port is seeking a temporary restraining order and an injunction to prevent activities that obstruct traffic and block access to the port.

On Monday August 1st Alameda County Superior Court Judge Delbert Gee considered the temporary restraining order but did not issue his ruling.