I have written about AB5 before, and I am devoting this Soapbox to help us all understand what AB5 means to our industry and how close it is to passing and becoming law.
AB5, if passed, will eliminate most, if not all, truck drivers who claim to be independent truckers and work for contractors in the general engineering field. The ECA is not in opposition to the basic premise of AB5 except for our trucking industry. A Supreme Court decision (Dynamex) paved the way for the AB 5 Bill to be written which adds a “poison pill” to the test that independent contractors must pass to retain their status-the “poison pill” statute that is added, in essence precludes a truck driver from being assigned independent contractor status if he works for a firm that does the same work that he/she does.
What this means is that our ECA firms that regularly provide trucking quotes and services to contractors in order to deliver asphalt or rock, will no longer be able to use independent contractors as part of their work force. Our ECA trucking firms will have to rely solely on employees to drive the trucks. As you can imagine, this leaves a lot of independent truckers unhappy and “stuck” with their ownership of their tractors and trailers. There is no provision in the bill to compensate or buy the equipment from the independent truckers that own their own equipment.
Also affected by AB5 are Lyft and Uber drivers, and many other companies and the ECA does not have any opinion on the effect to those folks. We, the ECA, simply want the Bill to exempt the trucking association that deals with our general engineering contractors and suppliers.
If you want to read the AB 5 Bill in its entirety, click on this link—
Where is the AB 5 Bill now?
AB 5 was written by Lorena Gonzalez, the Democrat head of the Assembly Appropriations Committee. AB5 “sailed through” the Assembly mainly because nobody wanted to be “at odds” with Lorena Gonzalez who could make their own Bills die due to her power to fund, or not to fund new Bills.
AB 5 next goes before the Senate Appropriations Committee and the Senate will vote on AB5 sometime in late August. Supporters of AB5 turned out in big numbers in Sacramento on July 10, 2019 and the quotes from Lorena Gonzalez (the author of the Bill) indicated there is not much “pushback” that is meaningful to her. The few opposition folks that spoke out against the trucking industry being included in this were responded to with comments like “looks like you need to join the union and get a good union job”.
Several days ago, State Senator Bill Dodd spoke at an Alliance Breakfast meeting and when he took questions from the floor, I took the mic and asked if we could count on him using his influence to provide a “carve out/exemption” for our trucking industry—-his reply was less than comforting. In essence, he said “it is complicated. If someone thinks they can just hire someone off the street and call them an independent contractor, that is not going to happen”.
That is not what we are asking for.
The ECA is joining forces with other opposition efforts and asking our members to read the following attachments and write multiple letters to your representatives in Sacramento. Even though the Bill has passed the State Assembly, you can ask your representative to reach out and call their Senate colleagues and lobby for an exemption for our trucking industry.
To read the opposition flyer and if you need to get your Assembly or Senate Representative for your District, it can be found in the Flyer linked here—
For a sample letter that you can insert your own company name and send in, click here—
If AB5 passes without an exemption for our trucking industry, it will be more difficult to find enough truckers in the near future (anybody having trouble now, will see that trouble multiplied greatly when independent truckers are excluded). Also, the economic impact from having all those tractors and trailers being put up for sale will have an effect on anybody thinking about buying new trucks in the near future.
Needless to say, we do not care if exotic dancers, hair-cutters, Lyft and Uber drivers have to become employees. WE DO CARE IF TRUCKING COMPANIES GET HURT!
Stand with our trucking brothers and sisters and take the time to let your State Legislator know you want an exemption for our Trucking Industry! We have three weeks to make an impact!!
That’s all folks