California Truckers Convoy in Protest Against Low Rates and “Cheap Brokers”
Los Angeles, CA – On Friday, about 100 truckers joined together along multiple California freeways to bring public awareness to the issue of low rates being offered by some freight brokers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
While truckers are being cheered by much of the American public for keeping the country moving during this time of national emergency, there is growing unrest among many independent contractors.
Those who depend on broker freight have seen rates plummet in recent weeks causing many drivers to begin organizing convoys to raise public awareness about the problem.
One such convoy occurred on Friday in Los Angeles as an estimated 100 truckers slow rolled along the 10 Freeway in downtown.
Truckers displayed signs on the backs of their trucks with messages such as: “No cheap freight,” and “Don’t haul cheap.”
Organizers say the event was part of a larger effort called the “Nationwide Slow Roll for Unity Movement.”
“The intention behind the movement is to raise awareness of the exploitation of truck drivers by freight brokers,” one participant’s social media post stated. “Offering drastically reduced rates is not only exploiting drivers but also demonstrating a blatant disregard for their efforts as essential workers.”
According to the Daily Bulletin, as many as 15 truckers were pulled over by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and cited for traveling below the speed limit and impeding traffic.
Truckers protesting on the 10 Fwy in Downtown LA blocking traffic. pic.twitter.com/3lUjf2n8Nc
— Ed-grr (@idntfd) April 24, 2020
Also on Friday, in a separate protest in Phoenix, AZ, dozens of truckers convoyed around the State Capitol in solidarity.
Truckers circling Arizona State Capital protesting long work hours because of Coronavirus Pandemic #COVID19 #TruckDriver #fox10phoenix pic.twitter.com/BMjnHEJRUd
— Rick Davis (@rdavisfox10) April 24, 2020
In addition to the convoys, Transportation Nation Network (TNN) first reported on Friday about a newly launched petition demanding President Donald Trump and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration force freight brokers to offer better rates.
Petition organizer and independent contractor Rodney Lara tells TNN new regulations are needed now.
“It’s really insulting the way [brokers] are treating drivers,” Lara said. “Brokers need truckers. It’s not the other way around.”
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“Does it seem fair that the person sitting behind their desk at home, hustles these hard working individuals (truckers) for every penny all while treating them like dirt,” the petition asks. “Within these contracts that brokers or brokering companies have created they are totally covered and can get away with murder, while the person or company doing most of the work is left with scraps and no way to defend themselves. Not saying all brokers are like this, BUT most.”
Click HERE to read more about the petition.
On Monday, April 20, dozens of independent contractors were cited after blocking a Houston highway in an organized protest of “cheap brokers.”
According to the Houston Police Department (HPD), 75 commercial motor vehicles were found to be blocking the 610 loop in Houston.
The truckers were protesting brokers who they claim are not paying them for their work as well as offering cheap rates.
Click HERE to read the full report on this story.
More convoys and demonstrations to bring awareness to these issues are being scheduled for May 1, 2020, in cities across the nation such as Chicago, IL, and Washington D.C.
Organizers are calling the events “MayDay,” and expect thousands of truckers to participate.
Stay logged on to TransportationNation.com for the latest on this growing movement.
Photo courtesy @1stGen_TruckRepair / Instagram
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