Occupy port blockade will hurt truckers, not Wall Street, CTA says

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The California Trucking Association on Friday, Dec. 9, said the Occupy Movement’s plan to blockade all West Coast ports on Monday, Dec. 12, “misses the mark and threatens to hurt the very ’99 percent’ that they claim to represent.”

“The hard-working men and women who haul containers in and out of our ports stand to lose a day’s earnings due to misguided attempt to hit Wall Street between the eyes,” said Michael Shaw, CTA vice president of external affairs. “Port truckers, many of whom are small business owners, depend on their ability to make as many trips to and from a port as safely as possible. The Occupy blockade will cost these small businesses several hundred dollars if the group accomplishes their goals.”

Shaw said the threatened blockade’s impact “falls on those who are at the heart of the ’99 Percent.’ Port truckers deserve the opportunity to do their jobs without the fear that a drive down to the port may end in nothing more than an empty tank, empty trailer and empty wallet.”

Shaw said California port truckers and other port employees represent the linchpin in the state’s position as a leader in global trade and the 8th largest economy in the world. Blockades and other instability imposed by legislative and regulatory bodies threaten that position by encouraging global trade to flow through other ports in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, he said.

The Port of Long Beach said all of its shipping terminals remained open Monday morning as the Police Department responded to the public protest, which centered at the south gate at Pier J. Beginning at about 6 a.m. PT, several hundred demonstrators marched from Harry Bridges Park near the Queen Mary, south to Pier J, near the public fishing area, and then north back to the park and Queen Mary. The protest concluded by 10 a.m. PT, and the port said most freeways, bridges and port access routes remained open and all shipping terminals operational.