Hundreds of California drivers are not satisfied with the AB5 law
Independent truckers stopped work and took to the streets on Wednesday in opposition to a California law that makes it difficult for them to be considered independent contractors.
In the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, a group of about 100 truck drivers stopped work in protest. Oakland drivers are reportedly planning their own protest on Monday.
On June 30, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled not to hear the California Trucking Association’s (CTA) lawsuit against the law, known as Assembly Bill 5, or AB5.
“The Workers Bill” requires companies that hire independent contractors to reclassify them as employees. This has caused many in the trucking industry to worry about the future of the owner-operator.
Law AB5 was passed in 2019, but a lawsuit had prevented it from impacting the trucking industry.
Trucking company owner Gordy Reimer said he typically has between 50 and 75 independent drivers working in Los Angeles ports.
All of them refused cargo on Wednesday to take part in protests.
“For truckers that have invested their blood, sweat and treasure to create their own businesses, it is dismaying that lawmakers and the courts are forging ahead with this radical policy that dismisses a beneficial business model that has been in place for decades. At the same time, we know this will not be the last word on the legality of AB5 and expect to participate in future challenges to the law.”
The Independent Driver-Owner-Operators Association (OOIDA), which filed a lawsuit in support of the CTA petition, said it was disappointed with the Supreme Court’s decision.
“With AB5 now set to go into effect, thousands of owner-operators driving in California face an uncertain future,” OOIDA President Todd Spencer said. “California has provided no guidance to owner-operators about how they can work as independent contractors under this new scheme, and truckers will be at the mercy of the courts to interpret how the law will be applied.”
CTA officials said they believe AB5 violates the constitution and could end the owner-operator model in the trucking industry.