Port of Oakland places barricades if truckers continue AB5 protests

As truckers protest for the fifth day, workers at the Port of Oakland have been busy setting up orange barricades at all four of the marine terminals in case demonstrations over controversial state law AB5 spill over into next week.

Late Thursday, port officials met with some of the drivers, urging them to end the protests that have largely shuttered container movement for five days, imploring the truckers to find a “path forward to returning to full operations at the Port of Oakland.”

“We respectfully ask that each independent owner-operator cease any further protest activity that disrupts port operations and the flow of commerce at the seaport,” Danny Wan, executive director of the Port of Oakland, said in a letter to port drivers.

Some independent drivers were upset Monday after warning Port of Oakland officials not to minimize the impact the protest had on the movement of containers after stating there was “some traffic congestion.” On Wednesday, Wan admitted the protests had “effectively shut down operations at shipping terminals at the Port of Oakland.”

“I understand the frustration over AB5,” Wan said in his letter Thursday. “We hear you. We have heard you since day one of your protest action.”

After the meeting with protesters, Wan said the Port of Oakland will establish a working group made up of port and independent trucker representatives to review concerns regarding the implementation of AB5, address trucker amenities and services and discuss upcoming state clean truck rules.

“We must get back to normal operations!” Wan said.

In a statement, California Gov. Gavin Newsom affirmed AB5, a controversial law he signed in 2019 that seeks to limit the use of independent contractors and largely classify them as employee drivers.

Legal challenges prevented the law from going into effect in January 2020. That

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