Truck drivers protesting at port of oakland this morning

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OAKLAND (BCN)

Truck drivers pushing for better pay and other changes are protesting at the Port of Oakland this morning.

According to Oakland police, specialized units have been monitoring the area since about 5:50 a.m. Police are attempting to keep protesters from blocking the entrances to the port.

Police said the truck drivers have formed picket lines in a parking lot.

Roughly six people have been cited for allegedly obstructing port activities, police spokeswoman Johnna Watson said.

The Port of Oakland Truckers Association, a group representing around 350 truckers, said members voted to go forward with today’s work stoppage after meetings with Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and other leaders failed to produce the changes they are seeking.

Among other demands, the truckers are asking for an extension on a Jan. 1 deadline to comply with new state regulations that require them to upgrade their trucks, and are seeking a “green emissions” payment to truckers to offset the cost.

The truckers’ association said new trucks cost between $50,000 and $80,000 and many truck drivers are struggling to pay for the upgrades.

The group is also asking for a congestion fee of $50 per hour for truckers who end up spending more than two hours waiting in line to pick up a load at the port.

The drivers held a previous work stoppage at the port on Oct. 21. The truckers are independent contractors and are unable to form a union.
(Copyright 2013 Bay City News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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