Independent truckers lined up around Oakland City Hall Wednesday honking their horns and demanding an extension on the January 2014 deadline for new emissions compliances required at the Port of Oakland, which could effectively put many of them out of business.
While the big rigs made noise outside, members of the Port of Oakland Truckers Association (POTA), an informal organization of owner operators, pressed their demand for a deadline extension with officials of the California Air Resource Board (CARB), Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), Port of Oakland Executive Director Chris Lytle, and Oakland’s Deputy Mayor Sandre Swanson.
Truckers are demanding that the city drop its lawsuit against two owner-operator truck drivers for their alleged participation in a work stoppage Aug. 19. Truckers are also asking for the city to drop an injunction on protests at the port.
Besides asking for a one-year extension on the January deadline, they are seeking a “green emissions fee” of $50 per load to pay loans for upgrading their trucks in compliance with the emissions standards; a “congestion fee” paid by the terminal per hour to truckers who have to wait more than two hours, unpaid, for a load; and a pay raise, which would be the first in 10 years.
Truckers are being forced to purchase new trucks that comply with the clean-air emissions standards put forth by the Port and have nearly a month to meet this requirement. Loans for new trucks range from $60,000 to $80,000, according to the truckers.
However, transport corporations were given seven years to meet the same standards. In light of this, truckers are asking for equal treatment from the port and CARB.
Courtesy of the Oakland Post, November 14, 2013 (www.postsnewsgroup.com)