Into the limelight: Sikh truckers in America

Harsimran Kaur, senior counsel for the Sikh Coalition, a legal defense group, was the lead attorney in a case involving ...

...Organizing the activist Sikhs came about in part due to the efforts of Gurinder Singh Khalsa of the Indianapolis-based Sikhs Political Action Committee. He argues the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has not approved each of the dozens of ELD devices and that the mandate will result in economic hardship.

In October, SikhsPAC announced a partnership with Forrest Lucas, founder of Corona, California-based Lucas Oil Products, to fight the ELD mandate. They made their case in Washington, D.C., along with protests there from other groups. Concurrently, three California rallies in Sacramento, Fresno and Bakersfield were organized and attended by Sikh truckers.

A convoy that started at the Sikh Temple in Yuba City and rolled through Sacramento capped the protest week. A later ELD protest rally in Yuba City coincided with the 38th annual Sikh Parade, the largest Sikh event outside of India.

As Overdrive went to press, SikhsPAC and a group representing Punjabis with roots in northern India petitioned FMCSA for a delay in ELD compliance for small business trucker members and members who haul agricultural products.

Khalsa says Sikhs have been growing trucking businesses in America since the 1980s. That’s when waves of immigrants came here fleeing anti-Sikh violence sparked by the 1984 assassination of Indira Ghandi, India’s first female prime minister. Most Sikh truckers are owner-operators based on the West Coast and in geographic clusters that include Indiana and areas in New York, New Jersey and Virginia, among others....