Truckers' Pay Protest Blocks Telegraph Road Traffic

Drivers Haul Dirt For Route 100 Connector

June 07, 1991|By Robert Lee | Robert Lee,Staff writer

Thirty to 40 independent truckers protesting low pay blocked trafficon Telegraph Road near BWI Airport yesterday morning.

State police dispersed a rolling picket of dump trucks without incident at 11:15a.m. The protest, made up of a long line of trucks with picket signstraveling 5 miles per hour, was illegal because it blocked the free flow of traffic along Telegraph Road just south of the Dorsey Road intersection, said Cpl. Alan Carter, duty officer at the Glen Burnie Barracks.

Carter said the truckers, hauling fill dirt for the Route 100 connector project, told a trooper they planned to continue their protesttoday. If they do, Carter said, state police will issue traffic tickets and impound the dump trucks.

Independent truckers do not belong to any unions, and no leaders emerged to speak for the group to either state police or a foreman for the Shirley Contracting Corp., the Lorton, Va., contractor working on the project that will complete Route 100 into Howard County.

Picket signs tacked to thefronts and backs of some of the slow-moving trucks demanded "More Pay" and similarslogans, Carter said.

One trucker, who refused to give his name, said the company is paying the truckers $11.48 per truckload of dirt.

"I have no idea what the problem is. They have never talked to usabout it," said a man at the company's Virginia headquarters who identified himself only as "the job superintendent."

The foreman at the entrance to the road job site said, "I'm just trying to move dirt and they've

threatened to break windshields on anybody working here. Half the trucks signed out on me today because they were afraid ofdamage. I haven't seen anything like this in 10 years," the foreman said.

One trucker said someone threw a rock through the windshieldof one "scab" truck who was delivering dirt during the protest.

Carter said troopers heard "second-hand accounts about broken windshields and possibly some rock-throwing, but witnessed nothing in person."

To protest legally in Anne Arundel County, a group must apply for a county permit and cannot impede the free flow of traffic, Carter said.

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