The truckers have gone to the City of Oakland and asked for assistance from the Mayor and City Council to help sway the Port Commissioners, but from the Mayor all they got was lip service followed by increased antagonism in the form of legal action against them for threatening the flow of commerce at the Port.
For the past ten years trucker rates have remained the same while the costs of working and living have risen… ((We)) regularly wait in lines for 2-8 hours to pick up a load. During that time, we are not allowed to get out of our trucks or turn off the engine. That means we’re urinating in water bottles, breathing in dangerous and disgusting fumes, burning expensive diesel fuel for which we are not compensated, and wasting time sitting in line when we need to be working to pay off our truck loans and feed our families.
“…Its not only a fight for these guys getting an extension, or these guys getting help to get trucks, it’s also we need better rates, we need better treatment in the port. We don’t have a lot of rights because we’re labeled owner operators and that’s not right. I mean, I can’t stand for that. I’m not just going to sit here and say, okay, this is what you’re giving me…”
…forty or so cabs, truckers within, decided to make their presence known – and very much heard – by invading downtown Oakland. They circled City Hall block making hella noise, with horn blasts just outside Mayor Jean ‘Twoface’ Quan’s office. Supported by local activists banging pots and beating drums, the noise demonstration went on for at least an hour.
Port of Oakland Truckers Association (POTA) members voted unanimously late Friday evening to stop work at the port on Wednesday, November 27.
We need folks with cars to volunteer to shuttle people from West Oakland BART from 4:30am to 5:30am. This job pays in coffee, perhaps donuts, but mostly satisfaction that you are lending needed material support to some really inspiring workers!
If you can get to the port on Wednesday morning to help support their lines, that will be helpful.
Whether or not you can make it to the pickets, please give what you can to the strike fund. Every dollar helps, but it’s gonna take a lot more dollars than what they have now in order to sustain a lengthy strike, should one happen.