Journal — Viewpoint

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ATA vs. Port of Los Angeles

Industry response to a court decision to overturn the owner-operator ban as part of the Port of Los Angeles Clean Truck Program

“The Port of Los Angeles led the nation to develop enforceable standards to put new clean trucks into service, but we know many companies are trying to get away with the same old dirty trucks. Port residents and truck drivers are our eyes and ears – in light of this ruling, we intend to step up community-based monitoring, expose the bad actors and provide any evidence of concession violations so the port can exercise its power to revoke agreements. At the same time, our ‘blue-green’ coalition will continue to vigorously pursue our efforts to ensure that employers are held to account for disguising their workers as independent contractors. We cannot allow the profitable shipping and trucking industry to shamelessly help themselves to taxpayer subsidies and drivers’ paychecks to perpetually pay for the low-emissions fleets our communities need.”

– Port Division of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters

“Banning owner-operators was never the solution to altering the market dysfunction and improving air quality in the L.A. basin. While the 9th Circuit made the correct decision regarding the ‘employee-only’ mandate contained in the concession agreement, they unfortunately still allowed many onerous aspects, such as unique credentialing, to stand.”

– Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association

“By striking down the port’s unjustified ban on owner-operators, the court has upheld the rights of trucking companies to structure their businesses to maximize efficiency and productivity.

By throwing out the ban, the court has ensured that competition, not government regulation, will establish motor carrier rates, routes and services. This is a win for all involved: trucking companies, small business owner-operators, Viewpoint Untitled 1freight shippers and, ultimately, average American consumers. The historic gains in air quality at the port clearly show that the interests of clean air have been served without running independent contractors out of the port. This plan was never about clean air; it was about promoting special interests of a few well-connected labor groups. Successful clean trucks plans in Long Beach, Seattle and the Ports of New York and New Jersey have shown you can improve air quality without forcing owner-operators out of your port.” – American Trucking Associations

“I appreciate all the attention this issue has gotten, and it’s good to see free enterprise prevailed. I understand the union’s position, as well as the charge on pollution and traffic congestion. Nevertheless, this is the correct application of law, and that did need to be overturned.”

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– Lance Winslow, CCJ Digital online reader

“While we are pleased by the court’s refusal to allow the ATA to completely shut down our port’s pioneering L.A. Clean Truck Program, cutting out a core component, if upheld, will have devastating consequences for working families and port communities plagued by dirty air and dead-end jobs. Furthermore, removing the employee provision destroys the opportunity for hundreds of small and large local businesses alike to grow and compete responsibly in the green economy. In bringing this appeal, the ATA refused to embrace 21st-century approaches to progress and instead signed a blank check to furiously litigate against a market-based approach to cleaner commerce at pollution-heavy ports. It would have been far less costly to be a part of it.”

– Coalition for Clean & Safe Ports

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