L.A. mayor, others call for employee drivers at Port of Oakland

| 7/23/2008

Demonstrators, labor leaders and even the mayor of Los Angeles have reportedly called for truck drivers at the Port of Oakland to be company employees.

Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa spoke at a rally on Tuesday, July 22, which was attended by about 300 truck drivers, union members, environmentalists and others, according to the Bay City News. The rally was in relation to the clean truck movement, which appears to be spreading among ports along the West Coast.

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have approved their own clean truck plans, which include bans on certain older trucks.

By 2012, trucks at the ports of L.A. and Long Beach must meet 2007 emissions standards, although the ports differ as to whether they’ll require at least regular port drivers to be company employees. The ports of Seattle and Tacoma are weighing clean truck plans as well.

“What’s good for labor is good for America,” Villaraigosa said, adding that he expects clean truck programs to be emulated at other ports or “we’ll miss a great opportunity,” Bay City News reported.

Also scheduled to speak Tuesday were Teamsters President James Hoffa, California Attorney General Jerry Brown and Art Pulaski, secretary-treasurer of the California Labor Federation.

– By Charlie Morasch, staff writer