California Truckers vs. Unions

Will Swaim has an article in National Review that alarms me. It’s about the state of California driving out independent truckers. This is especially relevant for me because 41 years ago I wrote candidate Ronald Reagan’s speech to an independent truckers convention in Illinois.

With the passage of Assembly bill 5, California is forcing employers to hire gig workers instead of treating them as independent contractors. While targeted at computer coders in Silicon Valley, the bill also targets independent truckers who aren’t on the payrolls of large unionized corporations. The Teamsters union is keen on this because they want the dues money to bankroll the campaigns of candidates who will pass ever more pro-union legislation. For independent truckers and small non-union companies, it’s “join the union or stop trucking.”

This will have major implications for California’s’ trucking-intensive economy and America’s supply chains.

That’s not all. At the same time the California Air Resources  Board is ruling that trucks more than three years old can’t pick up loads at California port facilities. This favors corporations who are more likely to buy new trucks, and the rationale for it is to – guess what? – defeat the menace of climate change.

This scheme is a dagger thrust at a bunch of independent small business men and women who are in my eyes one of the glories of America. I’ve always opposed corporate welfare and union rigged deals, and this shabby business reminds me why.


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