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ATA wants Federal Laws- Truckers Say NO! Give states the power

Jan
9,
2017
5

Say No to additional Federal Laws used to preempt  State Labor Laws

There are many concerns for drivers in 2017.  According to surveys, both from Overdrive and ATRI, on top of the list are the concerns for ELD and Hours of Service. It makes sense that they would be the top 2 concerns as both affect truck driver wages and the ability to earn a living wage.
Drivers are paid piece work wages, or cents per mile as most know. The HOS dictates how many hours you may drive and work, and the ELD enforces it. So I guess you could say that Truck Driver Wages are the top concern for professional drivers. For some silly reason, truck drivers believe they should be paid for ALL their time.  The industry thinks differently.

Piece work wages

Piece work wages and “working for free”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A study in 1998 by Martin Labbe Assoc commissioned by the Truckload Carriers Assoc. reveals truckload drivers spend about 40 Hrs. per week waiting loading and unloading.

FACT: The more unpaid hours you work, the less valued you are

Do you believe drivers should be paid for all time? All time such as waiting at loading docks, inspections, and all non driving responsibilities? I know I do, and there are many others who would agree.
We asked this question on Facebook and here are the replies, there were many.

Next question is, Do you believe the Federal  deregulation laws, such as the 1994 Federal Aviation Authorization Administration Act ( F4A), designed to deregulate a states ability to regulate freight, should also be used to over ride or preempt their Labor Laws?
The industry has taken this argument to court. The courts, including supreme courts said NO. States have their rights to protect employees.

Summary  and vision of what is coming SOON in 2017 affecting  Driver Wages- Are you ready?

 

1994, congress passed the Federal Aviation Authorization Administration Act (F4A1994)in an effort to deregulate the aviation and trucking industries.
F4A had all to do with Freight rates and NOTHING to do with Labor rates.

There are about 20 states which enforce labor laws, many paying employees for all time working.  Motor carriers have lost a number of lawsuits where they failed to pay drivers for their tasks other than driving in these states. ( such as detention time, waiting, inspections, etc…) Although drivers were allowed rest breaks, they are not forced to take them.

meal and Rest Break

Intrastate Truckers- Meal & Rest Break Allowances- Drivers not forced to take them but are paid.

Read more about the different cases.  California Meal and Rest Break Laws Are Not Preempted by the FAAAA: Ninth Circuit

Since motor carriers lost these cases in Federal Courts, the industry ( ATA) wants the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT to STEP in and create LAWS ( to over ride the Supreme Court decisions), referring to F4A1994 ( scroll down to the bottom) saying that Labor laws should be preempted by Federal laws.

TITLE VI–INTRASTATE TRANSPORTATION OF PROPERTY
 
SEC. 601. PREEMPTION OF INTRASTATE TRANSPORTATION OF PROPERTY.
https://www.congress.gov/bill/103rd-congress/house-bill/2739/text
 
……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 ……

 Again, the intent of the 1994 Federal Aviation bill was designed to prevent the states regulation of FREIGHT, not to regulate state labor Laws. The Circuit Courts and the Supreme Court has stated this regarding lawsuits between motor carriers and drivers, MANY TIMES.  The Carriers Lost.
Now the trucking industry  wants to bypass the courts and go directly to Congress.

If  you can’t win in the Supreme Court then take it to Congress and change the Law!

Chris Spear,The President and CEO of the ATA has said “…. preempting states that have added redundant rest break requirements on top of the existing federal standard, ATA 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.
It’s not just paid rest breaks that are in jeopardy, it’s all non driving responsibilities such as all waiting time.

NOTE:  70% of Truck Drivers voted for Donald Trump in hopes he would stand for truck drivers. In other words,  the ATA isn’t the only one’s who will address their fight to the 115th Congress.

 EVERYONE NEEDS to be aware in early 2017
Coming soon in the form of an amendment or provision in an existing bill, such as the amended THUD ( passed the house but needs to be voted on in the Senate), or even  a stand alone bill. If passed, it would affect truck driver wages in 2017, and permanently, just as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has. The Fair Labor Standards Act ( FLSA) which has exempted truckers for decades from being  paid overtime.

The 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 Section 204 of the Motor Carrier Act of 1935.

The trucking industry, including The ATA, 50 ATA-affiliated state trucking associations, the National Private Truck Council, the Truckload Carriers Association and the Truck Renting and Leasing Association,  continue to argue the meaning and” intent” in Federal Law of 1994 Federal Aviation Authorization Administration Act,  saying the F4A “meant to” preempt state labor laws. Read more  The Truth about Meal and Rest Breaks

Here’s what OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer said regarding amended wording in the F4A Reauthorization Act,
“Driver pay and situations where a driver’s time is taken advantage of without compensation most certainly should be addressed,”  “While the section of the aviation bill is intended as a response to the California meal and rest break law, its implications go well beyond that state. Its ultimate impact on all states is simply not known.” If the bill is passed with Section 611 intact, motor carriers could only have to pay drivers on a piecework or per-mile basis. Gone could be any chance at pay for detention time, safety inspections, paperwork, or any other work-related tasks that do not involve racking up miles. It could also gut the ability of states to individually address these sorts of issues in the future, according to OOIDA.

 

Use GovTrack to find out who represents you in Congress and what bills they have sponsored.

SUMMARY

After losing case after case in Federal Courts, the focus of those opposed to driver fair wages, was and remains, that by applying the exemption in the 1935 Motor Carrier Act, and then altering by persuasion the original meaning and intent of Congress  in the 1994 federal Aviation Authorization Administration Act ( Title VI section 601)  to deregulate the aviation and trucking industries, the ATA and others in the trucking industry, hope that Congresses provisions to bills would be passed and  state labor laws (protecting trucker wages) would be preempted by Federal Law. They have FAILED to do so in 2015 and 2016.
First attempt failed in the FAST ACT  Transportation bill in 2015, (at that time the Denham Amendment was attempted to be slipped in at the 11th hour), and then attempted again, as wording was attempted to be included in the Federal Aviation re-authorization bill in 2016 . Again it Failed and the wording was not included in the final bill.

BUT They are trying it AGAIN in early 2017….and they are determined! COULD BE the THUD bill next

The  THUD bill (Transportation Housing and Urban Development Section 134)), if passed, would end all hopes for drivers to be paid for all time.  It would then be almost impossible to create any new labor laws to pay drivers for all time.

NOTE:    Legislation is pending in the House of Representative, entitled H.R. 5394 –Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2017 (“THUD”).

On May 17, 2016, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development, and Related Agencies approved the 2017 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development funding bill.

This bill included an amendment of the FAAAA that would preempt state rest- and meal-break laws, retroactive to 1994.
Congress recently combined the FAAAA amendment as Section 134 of H.R. 5394, which is an omnibus federal budget bill to fund the federal government through most of 2017.  Congress could very well vote on H.R. 5394 in 2017

BE AWARE. We will keep you posted.
We must make our representatives aware as well as the members of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the House Highways and Transit.

CONCLUSION
In 2017 if the ATA succeeds, initiating Congress to pass new law preempting ALL STATE LABOR laws for  intrastate TRUCK DRIVERS , then that same provision or law would then be applied to all 50 states and eliminate any chance for being paid non driving responsibilities.
It’s an attempt  to ensure that truck drivers will NEVER be able to be paid anything except their piece work wages, as we all know it, cents per mile.

It’s not just Intrastate drivers who will be affected

Truck drivers in all 50 states would be affected by this dangerous provision or any new bill which would include the wording, because their states would be barred from passing laws that protect drivers from being docked, not only for bathroom and meal breaks, but for ‘non-driving’ responsibilities, such as loading the truck.

Remember The ATA has stated that one of their 2 major goals would be in 2017 to overturn the states labor laws which protect drivers who pick up and deliver in states which have labor laws to protect their employees.

So I ask you again, Is the ATA the voice for truck drivers?

Most of us believe that the Federal Government should not be able to overpower the states. Most of us do not believe in more regulations, especially when it come to trucking and regulations which affect drivers ability to earn a living wage. So why would we want the Federal Government to over ride STATES RIGHTS?

At a time when HOS and ELD’s are affecting driver wages, SAY NO to any bill or provision  which would prevent any hope for drivers to be paid for ALL time.

We’ll be making a series of videos and post updating you on the progress of the ATA and their attempts to influence government regarding labor laws and truck driver wages.

I invite EVERYONE to a show on AskTheTrucker Live I’ll be hosting. We will be discussing the seriousness of this issue Federal Laws Preempting State Labor Law- How they affect truckers now and in the future.

 

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Additional Reading

How to Ensure Fair Trucker Wages in the 2015 Transportation Bill

Truth behind trucker wage theft and FAA bill Section 611

ATA urges TIC to include provision in AIRR Act keeping trucker wages low

Senator Boxer urges Appropriations Committee not to add “Denham Language” in THUD

The Truth About Trucking Network says NO to the Denham Amendment

Is the ATA the voice for truck drivers?
The Denham Method. Will it Take Money Out of Your Pocket??? by Pat Hockaday

AskTheTrucker “Live” 2 Crucial Trucking Topics for drivers

Trucking Open Forum- Blocking Fair Wages for Truckers

The Denham Amendment MUST Be Defeated!! by Hal Kiah

House Passes Transportation Bill with Meal and Rest Break Implications

© 2017, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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By: Allen Smith

Allen Smith is a 37 year veteran who started at an early age in a household goods family moving business. He began driving straight trucks in 1977 and moved to the big rigs in 1982. His experience within the industry includes; owner operator, company driver, operations manager, and owner of a long distance HHG moving business, taking many of the long haul moves himself when needed. Allen Smith, a truck driver advocate who is driven by the desire to help others succeed within an industry where injustice, unrewarded sacrifice, and lack of respect and recognition exists. Allen and his wife Donna are hosts of Truth About Trucking ”Live” on Blog Talk Radio. Other websites include AskTheTrucker, TruckingSocialMedia, NorthAmericanTruckingALerts, TruthAboutTrucking, and many Social Media websites. In 2011 Allen and Donna hosted the first Truck Driver Social Media Convention, designed to create unity and solutions for the trucking industry. This is now being extended through the North American Trucking Alerts network as those within the industry join forces for the betterment of the industry. Allen strongly supports other industry advocates who are also stepping up to the plate to help those who share honesty, guidance and direction. He believes that all those involved in trucking need to be accountable for their part within the industry, including drivers, carriers, brokers, shippers, receivers, etc… The list of supporters and likeminded people grow daily, networking together and sharing thoughts and ideas for the betterment of trucking. He has coined the popular phrase "Raising the standards of the trucking industry"

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5 Responses to ATA wants Federal Laws- Truckers Say NO! Give states the power. - Post a Comment

  1. HAROLD GAFFORD

    AS A 41 YEAR LONG HAUL TRUCKER, I CAN TELL YOU TRUCKERS HAVE BEEN GETTING SCREWED FOR THE PAST 25 YEARS IN EVERY WAY POSSIBLE. HRS SHOULD BE PAID FOR ALL LOAD, UNLOAD, DETENTION ETC. COPS TARGET TRUCKERS MORE THAN ANY OTHER DRIVER ON THE ROAD. PEOPLE INTENTIONALLY CAUSE ACCIDENTS TO GET BIG BUCKS FROM INSURANCE CLAIMS. TRUCKERS AND SCHOOL TEACHERS ARE THE TWO MOST IMPORTANT PEOPLE IN AMERICA. IF NOT FOR TRUCKERS, YOU WOULDN’T HAVE A DAMM THING. CLOTHES, FOOD, HOMES, CARS AND ANYTHING ELSE YOU HAVE. WITHOUT TEACHERS YOU WOULD ALL BE STUPID AND ILLITERATE. THE TWO MOST IMPORTANT PEOPLE ARE THE MOST PERSECUTED AND THE LOWEST WAGES.SO THANK A TRUCK DRIVER FOR EVERYTHING YOU HAVE AND THANK YOUR TEACHERS FOR WHATEVER INTELLIGENCE YOU POSSESS. DEMORAT/LIBTURDS NOT INCLUDED IN THE INTELLIGENCE SECTION.

    • Allen Smith

      Thank you!! People have no idea the negative affects this bill can create for truckers now and in the future. They will remain chasing that carrot as they are paid by the mile and fighting the 14 hour clock. When you divide the average 100 hours they work/wk ( which includes driving and all non driving responsibilities) their pay is barely minimum wage. That is based on the DOL average yearly otr salary of 43K.year

  2. No longer a future trucker

    All this political wrangling over wages is why I prefer to STAY in my current job behind a desk starring at a computer screen all day for just over $20/hour fro 40 hours per week

    I feel sorry for all the new drivers thinking they could make a living off barely minimum wages while working for nearly 100 hours per week.

    I am befuddled why drivers, who are the backbone of delivering America’s economy, continue to be abused by politicians and truck carriers.

    Is there some logical/rational reason why drivers can’t be paid for everything while OTR for weeks at a time so they can feed their families, get proper healthcare, etc? I mean what is the problem with treating drivers with the respect and dignity all humans should expect from each other?

  3. […] The #1 priority for Trucking Associations, such as the ATA, is to assert Federal Authority ( such as the F4A preemption), to ensure drivers are not paid for all time working. They plan on doing this by over riding Supreme Court decisions and states rights by appealing ( lobbying) to Congress in order to Preempt State Labor Laws using Federal Authority.    ATA wants Federal Laws- Truckers Say NO! Give states the power […]

  4. […] ATA wants Federal Laws- Truckers Say NO! Give states the power […]

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