Truckers appeal to GOP for Relief as ATA seeks more Laws
The ATA and other members of the trucking industry are aggressively pursuing GOP Congress to Pass a bill which would negatively affect truck driver wages-
ATA goal is Federal preemption over State Rights
History of Driver Wages
The deregulation of the trucking industry began with the Motor Carrier Act of 1980 resulting in Lower consumer prices and decreased driver wages.
The Motor Carrier Exemption under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
FLSA provides an overtime exemption for employees who are within the authority of the Secretary of Transportation to establish qualifications and maximum hours of service according to the Motor Carrier Act of 1935
Most Drivers are paid Piece work wages, known as cents per mile (CPM).
Drivers are paid ONLY for the miles they drive by most motor carriers. Mostother work they provide is “free”
According to trucking industry statistics drivers spend 30-40 hours/wk on tasks in additional to their 70 hours driving without pay
Drivers wages have not increased in over 30 years while the cost of living has multiplied considerably. Drivers salary today is the same as in 1980.
Since CPM wages have not increased in decades, Drivers are now demanding higher wages and to be paid for all time( waiting fueling, paperwork, truck wash, etc…)
STATE Labor Laws
There are many states who DO PAY DRIVERS for all their time including meal & rest breaks.
Drivers are not forced “to stop” for these breaks, but are paid for them regardless.
Motor carriers have lost court cases because they did not pay their drivers in states that pay meal, rest, and all work paid.
They tried to use the 1994 Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act ( F4A) to make their case against the drivers
What is the The 1994 Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act ( FAAAA) ?
F4A was written to prohibit states from interfering with the regulation of rates in effort to deregulate the aviation and trucking industries.
“…State, political subdivision of a State, or political authority of 2 or more States may not enact or enforce a law, regulation, or other provision having the force and effect of law related to a price, route, or service of any motor carrier…”
Motor Carriers argued in Federal Court ( and Lost) that the state labor laws interfered with price, routes, and service as stated in the in the 1994-F4A
Federal Courts including the Supreme court SAID NO! They stated that F4A was meant to eliminate states ability to regulate freight rates, and had nothing to do with state labor laws
The Trucking industry then appealed to Congress to overrule the Supreme Court by introducing Federal regulations and Legislation which would Preempt state labor laws.
The attempts failed. The 1st time in the 2015 FAST ACT by introducing the Denham Amendment-
The Denham Amendment would have prohibited states from imposing labor laws or regulations on companies whose employees are subject to federal Dept. of Transportation hours of service (HOS) rules. Denham also says that states may not enact or enforce laws that require a motor carrier that pays employees on a piece-rate basis to pay those employees separate or additional compensation. Denham Amendment failed.
Once again the Denham Language was included the Federal Aviation Administration Re-Authorization Act of 2016. It failed
NOW the ATA has announced as one of their main goals for 2017 is to once again introduce legislation which will override the Supreme Court decisions.
The next attempt could be in the THUD bill (Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development )
If the THUD or another bill similar is passed, it would affect intrastate drivers as well as drivers in all 50 states. They may even try to include this language in the infrastructure bill.
WHAT WOULD HAPPEN if this LANGUAGE is INCLUDED in one of these bills?
Drivers would continue to be paid Piece Work Wages ONLY -Their fight for detention pay and all other non driving work would come to end.
ATA has stated they will continue to push hard for federal preemption of specific state laws when the 115th Congress convenes next month. In other words, they will target the new 2017 Trump Administration.
BUT 70% of truck drivers voted for Trump and the GOP Congress.
Drivers are counting on the Trump administration along with GOP Congress to save them from any new laws which will further affect their ability to earn a living wage! Who will Congress listen to? The millions of drivers or the ATA?
WHAT Can You DO?
Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard (202) 224-3121 and tell your representatives to VOTE NO for the THUD bill or any other bill which will preempt state labor and prevent drivers from getting paid for all work time.
Tell them that Federal Courts have repeatedly ruled tha tstates may regulate employee wages, hours, and working conditions of all workers, INCLUDING Intrastate Drivers.