McClaughry: California truckers versus unions

By John McClaughry

Will Swaim has an article in National Review that alarms me. It’s about the state of California driving out independent truckers. This is especially relevant for me because 41 years ago I wrote candidate Ronald Reagan’s speech to an independent truckers convention in Illinois.

With the passage of Assembly Bill 5, California is forcing employers to hire gig workers instead of treating them as independent contractors. While targeted at computer coders in Silicon Valley, the bill also targets independent truckers who aren’t on the payrolls of large unionized corporations. The Teamsters union is keen on this because they want the dues money to bankroll the campaigns of candidates who will pass ever more pro-union legislation. For independent truckers and small non-union companies, it’s “join the union or stop trucking.”

This will have major implications for California’s’ trucking-intensive economy and America’s supply chains.

That’s not all. At the same time the California Air Resources  Board is ruling that trucks more than three years old can’t pick up loads at California port facilities. This favors corporations who are more likely to buy new trucks, and the rationale for it is to — guess what? — defeat the menace of climate change.

This scheme is a dagger thrust at a bunch of independent small business men and women who are in my eyes one of the glories of America. I’ve always opposed corporate welfare and union rigged deals, and this shabby business reminds me why.

John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.

Image courtesy of Public domain

3 thoughts on “McClaughry: California truckers versus unions

  1. Must be the Commifornia dems are running out of money and looking for more union handouts. Independents should avoid Cali anyway with the EV truck mandate coming soon. Anybody with any sense should be packing their belongings and moving out before the state goes over the cliff. We need to move the Pacific unloading docks to Oregon or Washington.

  2. John, As an HR professional that managed relations with 3 different Northeast Kingdom unions for over 30 years, I find this unsurprising. The history of unionism in this country is a history based on legislative actions to bolster and advance the Union agenda and, of course, the threat of strikes. President Reagan essentially gave life to anti-union efforts when he summarily fired air traffic controllers and replaced them when they struck trying to cripple the industry that paid them. It essentially mapped a path for employers to counter the growth of unionism. And it worked.
    Except for government workers (and a bit of service workers) where most of the growth of unionization has occurred in the last 40 years.
    I do not know enough to guess if this Union effort will pass, but, it would be my hope that, given the make-up of the Supreme Court, a challenge to this monopolistic legislation might reverse this blatant one-sided incursion into the independent truckers and workers in any industry in this country.

  3. Seems everything is all in our all out. I’m not entirely against unions but, I am against greedy unions like teachers unions, Burlington city employee unions, City Market unions and the like.

    There is need for some unions because corporations are so greedy.

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