Truckers protest AB 5 after Los Angeles ends hauling program contract

Dozens of truckers protested in front of Los Angeles City Hall Thursday morning after they received news that the city was ending its contract with them.

The As-Needed, Haul Truck Program has been running since the 1890s, but the city notified the drivers at the end of last month that the 2021-23 contract would not be renewed due to a pair of state laws: Assembly Bill 5 and Assembly Bill 2257.

AB 5, which was intended to crack down the practice of classifying workers as independent contractors as opposed to employees, in particular has drawn scrutiny from a variety of workers and industries.

Multiple protesters at City Hall Thursday morning targeted that law, carrying signs claiming that the law “destroys livelyhoods” and should be repealed. They also emphasized that the vast majority of the drivers in the program are people of color.

City officials, however, say their hands are tied by the laws, and they have no choice but to end the program. The city’s website for the program says they are “currently not accepting applications.”

After discussions with counsel, Los Angeles officials said continuing the program “is a course of action the City is not at liberty to pursue.”

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