California Trucker Convoys Jack up Traffic in Protest of AB5 – Opinion

Los Angeles’ freeways were delayed Wednesday by large rig truck convoys. It doesn’t take much to screw up traffic in this town, so this particular form of protest was part of the point.

As RedState has reported extensively, California’s ill-advised law AB5 has wreaked havoc not only on thousands of independent professionals, but on the California economy. Now that 70,000 truckers are at risk, the protest calls on Governor Gavin Newsom for the suspension of the law.

We’ll see how well that goes.

The California Highway Patrol reports that lanes remain open but traffic is slow. Convoy delays have caused congestion on the Vincent Thomas Bridge linking Long Beach with San Pedro as well as the 110 and 710 freeways. Some drivers left behind to block the entry to the port complex, while others stayed.

Expect the workstoppage to last for 24 hours.

Truckers protest AB 5, also called the “gig worker law”, which went into effect January 1, 2020. The law, which applies only to workers in California regardless of where the employer is based, assumes all workers as employees unless they satisfy three conditions: they are free from the control of the hiring company, do work outside the hiring company’s usual business, and have an independent business themselves.

According to the Sourcing Journal, Drivers in Oakland are planning their own protest on Monday.

Lorena Gonzalez was a former California Assemblywoman. She is now the incoming Executive Secretary Treasurer of California Labor Federation. This nightmare has been wreaked havoc on four million contractors across the state. All for the benefit unions which heavily supported her campaigns as well as the vast majority of California’s legislature. With their vengeful revenge legislation, which was aimed at punishing political and personal foes, the legislature decimated 600 occupations, upended lives and contributed to California Adios over the last two years.

The Supreme Court has declined to review the truckers’ appeal, which means that trucking owner-operators will now be subject to the law.

California Trucking Association won an injunction against AB5’s validity in court. However, the Supreme Court refused to hear the case on June 30, allowing the law for large rig drivers to take effect. Matt Schrap, CEO of Harbor Trucking Association, stated to FreightWaves that the decision will have far-reaching consequences that will disrupt the industry. Schrap also predicted that tens or thousands of truck drivers would be forced out of existing business relationships in the next week.

Matt Schrap, CEO of Harbor Trucking Association, posted the response by California Trucker’s Association to the Supreme Court’s decision to toss the case back to the U.S. District Court.

“Gasoline has been poured on the fire that is our ongoing supply chain crisis.”

“In addition to the direct impact on California’s 70,000 owner-operators who have seven days to cease long-standing independent businesses, the impact of taking tens of thousands of truck drivers off the road will have devastating repercussions on an already fragile supply chain, increasing costs and worsening runaway inflation.

“We are disappointed the Court does not recognize the irrevocable damage eliminating independent truckers will have on interstate commerce and communities across the state. The Legislature and Newsom Administration must immediately take action to avoid worsening the supply chain crisis and inflation.”

The unintended consequences law meets the horror that is AB5. Nobody is willing to quantify the damage, including the law’s supposed author.

As the anointed head of one of California’s largest labor unions, Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher is still shoving the “benefits” of her legislation down people’s throats and pretending to care about truckers who chose the profession for the independence—not to have to kowtow to Labor concerns:

The  U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, which in 2020 granted the original preliminary injunction, is scheduled to hear the case again on August 22.

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