California truckers demand to keep their independence

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The California Assembly Committee on Labor & Employment on Thursday, Sept. 20, held a hearing to better understand working conditions for truck drivers at California’s ports. While working conditions and labor relations within the trucking industry were discussed and debated, independent operators also argued against stripping them of their choice to remain independent.

The California Trucking Association, which represents thousands of drivers throughout the state, said its members voiced their unequivocal opposition to any plans that would deny independent operators the choice to remain self-employed. Self-employed operators don’t want to be forced to become employees, CTA said.

“Such an effort would permanently remove an individual trucker from realizing their slice of the American dream to own and operate their own business,” CTA said in a press statement released following the hearing. “Moreover, this effort would reduce competition in the trucking industry, ultimately resulting in higher costs to consumers for all goods.

“Improving working conditions for all truckers is a goal the CTA and its members share,” CTA said. “But we do not believe that thousands of independent operators need to sacrifice their personal choice to get there.”