Many protesters are immigrants, making decent money for their families back home.
Independent truckers have shut down the Port of Oakland for the third straight day, protesting against a new labor law that would make them employees.
A federal appeals court ruled last year that law applies to some 70,000 truck drivers who can be classified as employees of companies that hire them instead of independent contractors.
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters called it a “massive victory” for exploited truckers. But the California Trucking Association, which sued over the law, had argued the law could make it harder for independent drivers who own their own trucks and operate on their own hours to make a living by forcing them to be classified as employees.
The legal battle stalled enforcement of the law but last month the U.S. Supreme Court recently decided it wouldn’t review the decision.
Truckers are now asking Gov. Gavin Newsom to meet and discuss the issue.
Meanwhile, there’s been no word on when the state might begin enforcing the law, which is still being contested in lower courts.
Oh, look. A union approves of the law. I guess the union cannot stand the fact that these truckers want to remain independent and take care of themselves:
But many truck drivers say the independent contractors’ model gives them flexibility and the ability to grow small trucking businesses in an industry that has become an economic engine for Sikh immigrants and their children.
“One truck here is supporting two families [in India],” said Singh.
Whoa, people want and like their freedom in their work:
Many drivers say the new law will force them to seek work as an employee-driver or they will have to pay more for insurance and permits to remain independent under the law’s guidelines.
Said Ahmedi, a 47-year-old trucker and protester from Elk Grove, Calif., said he likes the freedom of being self-employed, but it would be too complicated to continue as an owner-operator under the new law.
Mr. Ahmedi said he earned almost $70,000 last year as an independent driver and was still able to take two, monthlong trips to visit family and in-laws in Afghanistan and Azerbaijan.
“If I am a working driver I am stuck with the company,” he said.
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