Truckers (shown here) and environmental, community and faith-based groups rallied for a clean trucks program for the ports.
Action item: contact the Mayor of Long Beach to support the clean truck program with employee status for drivers.
September 8, 2007 • Photo gallery
The Coalition for Clean and Safe Ports, comprised of environmental, labor and faith-based groups held a rally in Long Beach Saturday (September 8, 2007) to support a clean trucking program. The rally was held to build support in Long Beach for a program to clean up the trucks and improve the working conditions for truck drivers.
Of the the twin ports in San Pedro Bay, Los Angeles leadership has given strong support for the complete clean trucks program, but Long Beach has been dragging its feet on at least on key component.
The foundation of the program consists of a concession model, in which port trucking companies become port concessionaires which need to meet minimum standards of operation to operate trucking services in the port.
Since its inception, the Sierra Club Harbor Vision Task Force has asked the ports to use their rights as landlords to ensure that their tenants behave responsibly and don't present a public nuisance to the environment and neighboring communities. We have specifically sought changes to clean up the trucking industry.
The clean truck program will implement many of the protections we have sought, including (1) safe trucks which are properly maintained for public and driver safety, (2) cleaner trucks which create less pollution than existing trucks and (3) employee status for port truck drivers rather than a the current contract labor status. We also hope that some advances proposed by the Port of Los Angeles may help reduce greenhouse gases and noise created by trucks.
You can read about the problems facing port truck drivers in the July 2007 Southern Sierran here.
Unfortunately, the Long Beach Mayor and Harbor Commission have been sitting on the fence, unwilling to make the commitment to require port drivers to be hired as employees rather than contract labor. We need your help to prod them to support this program.
We especially encourage Long Beach residents to write. But, inasmuch as the lack of response from Long Beach could sink this program for both cities—and the impacts will spread out over most of Southern California—we encourage everyone to write now.
Please send a personal e-mail before you forget. If you can follow up with a printed letter, that would be even better.
Please write to Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster as soon as you can. You can find a sample letter here: as an RTF or PDF, or WORD document. The letter includes his city hall address.