California’s Port of Oakland Reopened

California’s Port of Oakland has fully resumed operations after truckers protesting a gig-work law blocked access for five days and disrupted the flow of goods at the key shipping hub.

Cargo containers started moving again through California’s Port of Oakland on Monday after independent truck drivers stood down from protests that effectively shut down one of the West Coast’s largest ports for almost a week.

Terminals restarted operations over the weekend and cargo is now moving normally, still, it will likely take weeks to reduce the backlog created by the protests, said Robert Bernardo, a spokesman for California’s third-busiest port.

The protesters’ next steps are unclear. Bill Aboudi, president of trucking company Oakland Port Services, said in an interview Monday that police officers threatened arrest to people who blocked the terminal gates. Able Zerfiel, a protester and an independent trucker for 25 years, said that the designated zones were empty Monday morning. 

The truckers are protesting the new law, known as AB5, that toughens the definition of independent contractors. Although the law went into effect for a range of professions in 2020, a legal challenge by the trucking sector has held up enforcement in the trucking industry.

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