LOS ANGELES BUSINESS JOURNAL
May 2, 2004
Ports hit by trucker protests
TWO OF THE BUSIEST SEAPORTS on the West Coast were hit Friday by
truckers protesting high diesel fuel prices and what they say are
inadequate fuel surcharges.
Dozens of truckers were reported off the job at the Port of Oakland.
Broadcast reports said some were trying to encourage others to
sideline their rigs.
Protests by drivers serving the Port of Long Beach, the busiest on
the West Coast, snarled traffic on I-5 in Commerce when five drivers
stopped their rigs on the highway and then left in private cars,
according to the Highway Patrol. It took about an hour to clear the
In another protest, about 600 drivers marched from a park in the
city of Wilmington to the gates of the Port of Los Angeles, waving
Earlier in the week, truckers protested at two railroad intermodal
yards in Stockton.(202) 624-6904
While protests by the independent owner-operators Friday were not
sanctioned by any union, the Teamsters union said it supported the
"The Teamsters are calling for fair and equitable fuel price
surcharges and a public registry to list the surcharge. A registry
is necessary so drivers can verify whether the steamship lines and
motor carriers are truly passing along the full surcharge," says
Chuck Mack, port division director for the International Brotherhood
of Teamsters, in a written statement.
The average price of a gallon of diesel fuel in California on Friday
was $2.349, according to the American Automobile Association. The
national average was $1.777. California prices ranged from a low of
$2.252 in Chico to a high of $2.405 in Santa Barbara.
Official press release from the Port Division of the International
Brotherhood of Teamsters:
April 30, 2004
For Immediate Release
Contact: Galen Munroe, (202) 624-6904
TEAMSTERS STATEMENT REGARDING CALIFORNIA PORT DRIVERS
Official Statement of Port Division Director Chuck Mack
(Washington, D.C.) - As the largest union representing
transportation workers in the nation, the Teamsters
support the owner drivers in California that have chosen
to stand up to the companies that have exploited them
for too long.
The steamship lines are reaping what they sow - these are
the most exploited truck drivers in America. Even before
the fuel price spike, the drivers were operating on the edge
The Teamsters are calling for fair and equitable fuel price
surcharges and a public registry to list the surcharge. A
registry is necessary so drivers can verify whether the
steamship lines and motor carriers are truly passing along
the full surcharge.
Ultimately, this exploitation will not end until the drivers
are recognized as employees and protected by a union
contract. The Teamsters have been fighting for these
drivers for years and will continue to back them.