Port truckers and the Teamsters union are planning a rally in Washington, D.C. to protest fuel prices and other problems.
The March 22 event will draw truckers from ports up and down the East Coast, according to Teamsters spokesman Ron Carver. It will mark the culmination of a series of protests organized by Teamsters at U.S. ports in the past several months.
High fuel prices are hitting the harbor operators hard, Carver said. “The drivers who pay for their own fuel cannot survive – they’re going bankrupt, losing their trucks,” he said. “President Clinton has to take strong action.”
The truckers also will promote the Harbor Truckers Bill of Rights, which holds that they are exploited by the intermodal industry and have the right to organize a union.
And they want an end to steamship lines’ antitrust exemption. It is unfair, Carver said, that steamship lines can collectively set rates but container haulers cannot. “We don’t think that’s right, so we’re going to protest,” he said.
Truckers will bobtail to Washington in convoys from New Jersey, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Hampton Roads, VA, Carver said. They will take buses from further ports – Boston, Jacksonville, FL, Savannah, GA, and Charleston, SC.
Carver added that representatives from container hauling companies will fly in from all over country. The rally will be held in front of Teamsters headquarters at the foot of Capitol Hill, and Teamsters General President Jimmy Hoffa will speak, he said.