Port blockage causes rift in Occupy movement

December 11, 2011 6:47:37 PM PST
The protest that is expected to impact ports along the west coast is set to begin Monday at 5:30 a.m., but the plan to shut down the Port of Oakland is facing more opposition.

ABC7 spoke to truckers on Sunday who said they're concerned about Monday's proposed port shutdown. Those truckers say a shutdown would only hurt the people Occupy Wall Street say they support.

Truck Chuck Baca lost his job as a high-rise construction worker last year. Now he's driving a truck. If the planned shutdown of the Port of Oakland on Monday is anything like the one that took place in November, he and thousands of other truckers and port workers will take a substantial financial hit.

"It hurts," said Baca. "It hurts us a lot. I'm just barely getting on my feet again after two years and now I gotta go a day without pay while somebody else has something to say that I'm not really sure is relevant to the cause."

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) is also against the shutdown, stating that they do not support another costly protest that affects more than 73,000 jobs tied to California ports.

"The ILWU shares the Occupy Wall Street movement's concerns about corporate abuses and the future of the middle class," a statement released by Robert McEllrath said, "but we must be clear that any actions organized by outside groups, including the proposed Dec. 12 shutdown of various terminals on the West Coast, have not been vetted by our union's democratically-led process."

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan issued her own statement regarding the shutdown.

"How does shutting down the port and causing thousands of workers to lose a day's pay create positive change?" questioned Quan.

The supporters of Occupy will still attempt to shut down ports on Monday, from Alaska to San Diego. The port says they stand to lose about $8.5 million per day if the port is shut down.


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