Port of Oakland behind blockade of truckers

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Truck protests, originally intended to last a few days, have swelled since they began Monday, bringing cargo movements at the Port of Oakland almost to a standstill. Truckers say they are prepared to block the West Coast’s third-busiest container port until California Gov. Gavin Newsom listens to concerns about a new state law that will make it harder for them to operate as the state is tightening its definitions of non-employee drivers, upending decades-long practices that have allowed truckers to work as independent contractors. The California law, known as AB5, will force many of the estimated 70,000 independent owner-operators to seek work as employee-drivers or pay more for insurance and permits to remain independent. Container yards are full and already challenged in managing efficient loading and unloading of container vessels.  Port officials said 15 container ships were waiting for berth space by the docks on Wednesday.

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