America’s supply chain crisis has caused the prices of most goods to skyrocket as transportation becomes increasingly more expensive and, in some cases, impossible. Unfortunately, the Biden administration has not taken any effective actions to diminish supply chain issues, and our situation is only bound to get worse.
The trucker blockade at Port of Oakland in California has entered its fourth day, effectively halting normal supply side operations in the area. The largest marine terminal at the Port of Oakland is now closed because big-rig truckers are blocking entry gates, preventing other truckers from entering the port.
Without trucks to unload shipped materials onto, container ships have been forced to drop anchor off the California coast. As of now, over 15 ships are waiting at sea. This number is expected to increase if the trucker blockade continues.
This blockade and its participants are certainly exacerbating ongoing supply chain issues in the United States. The Port of Oakland is a key commercial hub for California’s $20 billion agricultural exports and is the 8th busiest U.S. container seaport. While the U.S. has many other operational seaports, supply chain issues tend to have a domino effect, causing disruptions in other areas of the commercial network.
The trucker blockade at the Port of Oakland is especially damaging considering its timing. Toymakers and other industries have just entered their peak season for imports because retailers use the late summer months to stockpile goods for fall holidays and back-to-school items.
If one were to take a superficial view of these facts, it would be easy to lay the blame on the protesting truckers. However, these truckers, in many ways, are akin to the members of the Canadian Freedom Convoy that fought for medical liberty and freedom from experimental vaccinations.
The trucker blockade at the Port of Oakland is fighting for economic liberty in the face of California Governor Gavin Newsom’s socialist dictates. Protesting truckers are primarily concerned with California labor law Assembly Bill 5.
Assembly Bill 5 (AB5) makes it extremely difficult for truckers, or independent contractors of any industry, to work for themselves. Democratic proponents of AB5 claim that it is intended to protect independent contractors and the gig economy, but it does no such thing. In fact, it may destroy the gig economy in California.
According to AB5, anyone who provides labor for pay to a company must be considered an employee of that company. This seriously impacts certain companies that rely on independent contractors, such as Lyft and Uber. For example, under AB5, California Uber workers would be considered a W-2 employee and be entitled to minimum wage, overtime, and paid sick time.
But, AB5 comes with a variety of drawbacks for independent contractor as well. Namely, independent contractors will no longer be able to decide their own work schedule. Since independent contractors will be classified as employees, their employers will be in full control of their labor.
Californian truckers involved in the blockade are rightly outraged by AB5 as they will lose autonomy over their own careers. They believe that AB5 is intended to push all Californian truckers into full-time employment and unions.
It’s no surprise that Democratic politicians are trying to coerce more independent workers into unionizing. American unions and Democratic elites have a long history of corrupt dealings with one another.
The trucker blockade will certainly worsen supply chain issues across the country, but it is the liberty infringing Democratic laws that have caused this protest.
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