On September 26th, 2007, the East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy (EBASE), as part of the Coalition for Clean and Safe Ports, released a long-awaited study of the trucking industry at the Port of Oakland. The study shows how eliminating independent contracting in the port
trucking industry will reduce pollution and ensure economic growth.
In the study's foreword, Dr. Anthony Iton, Director of the Alameda County Department of Public Health, cites the trucking system at the Port of Oakland as a direct contributor to the acute public health crisis that is leaving 1 in 5 West Oakland children with asthma. He wrote, “Residents living in the shadow of the Port of Oakland can expect to die, on average, more than a decade before residents of the Oakland Hills.”
The study demonstrates the direct relationship between port truck drivers’ employment status and truck pollution, draws a comparative analysis of various proposals to fix the industry, and presents the Coalition’s recommendations for a “Clean Trucks Program.” The Port is expected to release its own Truck Management Plan the following week of October 1st.
The study is based upon in-depth surveys with 200 of the 1,500 “independent contractor” truck drivers who regularly work at the Port of Oakland. Findings show that these drivers make as little as $8 per hour, and most do not have health insurance. Under the current system, the burden of buying and maintaining trucks is on these impoverished drivers, making it impossible for them to upgrade to clean emission trucks. And, as “independent contractors,” the drivers are legally barred from negotiating as a group for higher rates to take on such an expense.
Click below to download the full report as a PDF file.