A group of truckers pulled their rigs to the side of the
road in California earlier this week as part of a protest over the failure of
carriers to pass on the full fuel surcharge, news sources said.
According to The
Sacramento Bee, several hundred truckers took part.
During the protest, which
took place Monday, a group of independent truckers stood along Roth Road
5 with signs saying "Stop Free Work" and
"Fuel 2.15," the Manteca Bulletin reported. Roth Road crosses the
interstate near mile marker 465 on the north side of Manteca, a town that sits
directly east of the San Francisco Bay area.
The truckers focused on the fuel surcharge, saying carriers
are keeping 70 percent of it, the newspaper said. But they also noted other
aspects of their tight financial situation – including low freight rates,
California’s higher fuel prices (and that the surcharge they do receive is
based on the national average, not the California price) and the lack of health
and other insurance benefits.
truckers started their protests at freight terminals operated by the Union
Pacific and Burlington Northern Sante Fe railroads in and near Stockton, CA, on
Monday, The Bee said. But their
dispute centers not on those railroads, but on the carriers who contract with
them to carry freight.
One carrier told the
Sacramento newspaper that enough truckers had parked to reduce his
company to 30 percent to 40 percent of its normal traffic.
"This is the best way to get our point across," trucker
Victor Santana told the Bulletin. "We're just fighting for the
rights we should have."
truckers taking part in the protest are not alone. OOIDA and Land Line have
heard from several other truckers who have parked their rigs due to high fuel
“Virtually every trucker
is significantly impacted by the run up in fuel costs and the possibility
that costs may keep
climbing,” Todd Spencer, executive vice president of OOIDA, said.
problem is particularly bad in California, which over the past year has
consistently produced the nation’s highest diesel prices. This week, the
federal Department of Energy said the national average price of diesel was $1.718; however, in
California, it was $2.247.
Both the truckers taking part in the protest and other
industry players predicted that the protests would continue – and spread.