Stockton truckers call out the industry with 400 on strike

Motor carriers are underpaying truckers all over california for diesel fuel. Now they're fighting back...

Independent truckers in California's San Joaquin Valley shut down their rigs on Friday, May 2nd declaring an open-ended strike. At $4.80 a gallon, sky-rocketing diesel prices top the list of grievances. As their main demand, drivers insist on doubling the rates paid for hauling a container. The second biggest demand is a fuel surcharge of upwards of 55%. The brokers currently pay surcharges varying from 30-40%. If drivers can keep the trucking bosses from stealing it, the increased surcharge would help place the burden back on those who can afford it.

"We're fighting for survival." That's how Gerardo Cordoba explains the struggle. He's been driving for 10 years and raises a seven year-old on what he brings home after costs. The rates haven't seen an increase in a decade and most truckers bring home less than $30,000 year. In fact, when asked how much an average driver earns, Dewey Obtinalla, a Filipino driver who regularly does long haul up the coast, replied, "If you're making $30,000, that's good, very good... With fuel, insurance, and registration, I don't know a lot of people who are doing that well." Brave strikers don't need to look far for others willing to fight.

By: J. Pierce with Adam Welch

Posted By

May 22 2008 03:59


Attached files