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Port of Oakland urges truckers to end AB5 protest

Port of Oakland officials are urging truckers to end their protest over AB5 as the independent contractors prepare to block the terminals for the fourth day on Thursday, bringing container movement at California’s third-largest port to a standstill.

Ahead of Thursday’s demonstration, the three main terminals at the port — Oakland International Container Terminal, also known as SSA, TraPac and Everport — closed operations for both shifts.

Truckers initially planned a three-day protest in Oakland but are digging in after receiving no response Wednesday from California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who signed AB5 — a controversial statute that seeks to limit the use of independent contractors and largely classify them as employee drivers — into law nearly three years ago. 

The protesters held signs directed at Newsom on Wednesday reading, “The cargo won’t flow until AB5 goes.” 

“Since the beginning of the trucker protests on Monday, port staff have been providing federal and state officials regular informational updates about the operational status of our port,” Roberto Bernardo, director of communications for the Port of Oakland, told FreightWaves in an email Thursday. 

In a statement late Wednesday, the port confirmed the trucker protests that started Monday over the implementation of AB5 “have effectively shut down operations at shipping terminals at the Port of Oakland.”

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