Independent truck drivers plan strike

Tuesday, April 1st 2008, 12:13 am
By: News 9

By Stacey Cameron, NEWS 9

Now, millions of independent truck drivers are threatening to shut their rigs down in protest of the high cost of diesel fuel.

Independent truck drivers said they would start pulling over and parking their semis at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday. There have been no confirmed reports on whether the strike actually started Tuesday morning.

The idea behind the strike is if America's freight lines come to a stop for a couple days, maybe the price of diesel will stop going up.

"Common sense tells you if the trucks stop rolling, America stops," independent truck driver Lee Bell said.

When Bell talks about a truck stop, he isn't referring to the place where truckers fill their rigs, but a nationwide truck drivers strike.

"Hopefully, get somebody's attention that can do something about the problem, help all these guys out," Bell said.

Bell wants help the nation's 20 million independent truck drivers. People like Carlos Ochoa, who said the high cost of diesel makes it hard for him to keep his rig on the road.

"You have to work a lot of hours, and run a lot of miles to make a decent living," Ochoa said.

Ronnie Payne has been driving a truck for 20 years.

"It's crazy, I don't know why," Payne said.

He said if someone can't figure a way to get diesel prices down, he's going to lose his truck.

To keep that from happening millions of independent truckers like, Payne and Bell, say they'll go on strike this week, shutting down their semis for as long as it takes -- until someone brings the cost of diesel down.

"It's going to cost me, but hopefully, in the future, it's going to save me and everybody else," Bell said.

While all but one of the truckers said he'd strike Tuesday, what they said they really need to make a strike effective is a spokesperson.

Some drivers say the strike could last as long as a week. And in Pennsylvania truckers are already striking. More than 70 semis circled the State Capitol there for an hour protesting the cost of diesel.