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Tuesday, May. 04, 2004 at 6:30 PM
Independent owner/operators on the West Coast carry their strike through the weekend. Signs of growing solidarity felt in the Oakland area and up and down the Coast.
Independent owner/operators in the trucking business are still on strike throughout the West Coast. Drivers are on the verge of shutting down the Oakland port as solidarity in the strike continues to grow.
Demands include a raise in basic trucking rates as well a decrease in diesel fuel prices. Expenses such as fuel are paid for by the truckers themselves. Fuel prices continue to rise (especially in California) while percentages drivers receive remains low or non-existent (on average drivers receive 8-10% in fuel surcharge compensation).
An estimated 2,000 truckers on strike in the Oakland area alone. The strike began on Friday with a temporary shutdown of highways in the L.A./Long Beach area. See http://www.presstelegram.com/Stories/0,1413,204~21474~2120548,00.html.
Speaking in Spanish and English leaders in at least one Oakland location encouraged independent drivers to form the Intermodal Truckers Union. This reporter witnessed long lines of truckers of all backgrounds waiting in line to sign union petitions.
The Teamsters support the independent operators/owners in their endeavor http://www.teamster.org/04news/nr_040503_1.htm, http://www.teamster.org/04news/nr_040430_2.htm.
Rumors abound that the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU- http://www.ilwu.org/main.htm) have thrown their support behind the independent operators, however this has not been corroborrated on their website.
The strike will continue tomorrow.
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