- The office of California Gov. Gavin Newsom “is looking into the concerns raised by the California Trucking Association,” regarding enforcement of the state’s landmark AB5 labor law, Deputy Press Secretary Daniel Villaseñor told Transport Dive in an emailed statement Thursday. The CTA and more than 70 groups are requesting a stay of enforcement to allow businesses to comply.
- Villaseñor noted, however, that AB5 was signed into law in 2020, giving industries “two years to plan for compliance,” before the Supreme Court declined to hear the trucking association’s appeal last month.
- “The determination method for an individual’s classification, the ‘ABC’ test, as an employee or independent contractor, is the same for the trucking industry as it is for other industries,” the statement said. “The Supreme Court’s decision not to hear the case does not change any of the law’s requirements.”
The governor’s office issued the statement the morning after hundreds of drayage drivers in Los Angeles and Long Beach began protesting the law with a work stoppage and other demonstrations Wednesday.
Cindy Perez, a Long Beach owner-operator and an organizer of this week’s protest, said a delay of AB5’s enforcement to allow carriers to comply would help those like her and her husband, Antonio Vides, who have worked a combined 15 years in drayage.
But it’s not what they and the other truckers honking their horns and refusing to haul cargo really want, she said.
“Our goal is to get exempted from [AB5], to get carved out from it, just like other industries,” Perez said. “And if we're not, we at least want to know why.”
The California Labor Agency is working with those requesting assistance in complying with the state law, the governor’s office statement said, and the agency will “continue to update guidance as necessary.”
“California also has developed and implemented strategies to reduce potential stress on the supply chain and tackle the impacts of global supply chain issues, and we will continue to closely monitor for potential impacts,” the statement said.
The Port of Los Angeles had seen no impact to its operations from the protests as of Wednesday, Executive Director Gene Seroka said in his monthly briefing.
But the protests, which are expected to spread to the Port of Oakland next week, will continue as long as drivers want to participate, Perez said.
“All the drivers were up … to continue it,” she said. “They seem pretty excited about this.”