Independents Continue Fuel Protests
February 15, 2000
Owner-operators will protest today in Boston, where U.S. Energy Secretary Bill Richardson will be co-hosting a summit looking for solutions to the heating oil/diesel fuel price crisis.
The protest is only one of many going on across the country as owner-operators, especially ones who haul containers in and out of the nation's ports, have become fed up with the high price of diesel fuel, low pay and other issues.
Although diesel prices at the pump dropped slightly this week, crude oil for delivery in March rose Monday to a nine-year high of $30.45 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Truckers at the Port of Houston staged a rally Monday, presenting port management with a "Bill of Rights" similar to that delivered by drivers at six other ports on January 31. Boston's port drivers will hold another rally Friday, along with drivers from Baltimore, Charleston, SC, Detroit, Jacksonville, FL, Los Angeles, New York/New Jersey, Philadelphia, Savannah, GA, and Seattle.
A work stoppage at the Port of Miami entered its second week, keeping the port virtually paralyzed. The truck protests have included traffic slowdowns. A 25-truck convoy slowed traffic on the Davie Road Extension about 8 a.m. Monday. The trucks sported signs saying "Support Florida Truckers" and were honking their horns, according to published reports.
Dump truck owner-operators have also been actively protesting the high prices. In Florida, truckers hauling fill and raw materials for the Orlando International Airport protested for several days, returning in small numbers yesterday. Truck drivers at the CSR Rinker plant in Cocoa returned to work Monday after reaching an agreement for better pay.