Truck drivers protest at Port of Oakland
May 6, 2004 1:13 PM, from staff and wire reports
A protest by independent truck drivers against soaring fuel prices and questionable pay rates is continuing at the Port of Oakland CA, even though port officials agreed to create a committee to handle complaints.
Since April 30, more than 300 truck drivers have ceased transporting goods to and from the harboróthe fourth-busiest port in the United States. About 25% of trucks usually operating at the port were running May 5, port spokeswoman Marilyn Sandifur said.
APL, a shipping line that has operations in Oakland, reported only about 10% of the usual number of trucks that go through its gates daily.
Truckers have said they wonít go back to work until trucking firms raise rates paid for their services. Drivers are seeking a 30% rate hike and a fuel surcharge to compensate for surging diesel prices.
The Port of Oakland agreed to form a committee to address trucker concerns. This announcement came after protesters hurled rocks at working truckers and Oakland authorities had to call in reinforcements.
As part of the agreement, the panel will meet four times a year to field complaints about pay rates, fuel surcharges, and port-area working conditions. This committee will consist of independent truckers, trucking company officials, port officials, brokers, ocean carriers, terminal operators, and railroad representatives.
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