Ask The Trucker

Raising the Standards of the Trucking Industry


Truckers are their own “lobbyists”

May
17,
2017
0

One of the biggest challenges for truck driver advocates is the ability to have their voices heard effectively, reaching those in power who can make the changes they so urgently need.

Most of the time there are opposing groups within the trucking industry challenging truckers, and many times these groups are at a much bigger advantage.
Why? They have lobbyists.

Definition for Lobbying (aka Persuasion) is the act of attempting to influence the actions, policies, or decisions of officials in their daily life, most often legislators or members of regulatory agencies.

A few examples of opposing issues: ELD’s, Size and Weight limits, Speed limiters, Truck Driver Wages, HOS, Truck Parking, and additional trucking regulations.

A lobbyist usually revolves around compensation.  Most states define a lobbyist as someone who receives any amount of compensation or reimbursement to lobby.  “5 Facts About of lobbying”

 

 

 

All states recognize certain exceptions for activities that might otherwise be construed as “lobbying.” These activities include testifying at committee hearings, meetings, writing letters and casual conversations.  In some states, interagency communications between state employees are outside the statutory definition of lobbyist
Read more “How States Define Lobbying and Lobbyist”

The American Trucking Associations is the nation’s largest trucking industry lobbying groupTotal 2016 Lobbying Expenditures: $1,830,000

What is troubling is that The American Trucking Associations are thought of by the general public as representing the entire industry, including truckers.
Truckers do not agree, mainly because they do not.

Is the ATA the voice for truck drivers? 

Did you know…. “Largest US trucking lobby hails electronic logging rule” ???

So the question is, how do drivers compete with the million dollar+ trucking lobby?

Drivers themselves are fighting for one another by being proactive; understanding issues affecting truckers, writing letters to lawmakers, making phone calls, supporting one anothers’ efforts, and joining organizations which lobby for them, such as OOIDA, RWIT, and SBTC.

In some cases it means being your own “lobbyist” Here’s  2  highlighted examples of truckers taking control and being proactive.
There are many more, and many more needed.

scott reed- the trucking advocate

Scott Reed- Trucking Advocate



Scott Reed, an owner operator, has started a Facebook page called “Scott Reed the Trucking Advocate”

 

 

 

His goal is to stand up against the well funded trucking lobbyists and fight for truckers. He travels to Washington on his dime, talking to lawmakers and hoping to make a difference in truckers lives and concerns!

Scott values communicating with drivers, sharing each others thoughts about the issues plaguing them. Our hats are off to Scott, he is indeed an inspiration to many.  You can read more about Scott and his objectives here.
The Trucker Advocate

Clifford”Chappy” Peterson is a drivers who has done his part many times.  He researches the issues most important to drivers and wants his voice heard.
He decided to go to the top and write Pres Trump a letter.

I believe it is the responsibility of every driver to stay informed about current topics and issues within the industry, and I believe it is just as much a responsibility of every driver to step up and make their voices heard, call their Senators, their state Representatives, and yes even the president if necessary. Below is a portion of a letter I sent to President Trump soon after he took office. It is much like letters or phone conversations I have had with my state representatives, and until common sense wins out the day, or the Lord calls me home, they and my fellow drivers can expect I will continue to make my voice heard. –Clifford “Chappy” Petersen

Clifford “Chappy” Petersen

Clifford “Chappy” Petersen

Dear President Trump,
I am not sure if you know about the ticking time bomb set go off during the last part of your first year in office, so perhaps I should elaborate. Your predecessor pushed congress and the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) to mandate the use of ELDs (Electronic Logging Devices) for all drivers by December 2017. Before you get the wrong impression, I currently use an ELD with the company I work for, and I in fact enjoy it for the most part. However, there are some issues that make using it challenging, and the same issues could prove to be detrimental to the industry, and really should be addressed before such a mandate takes place.

The first of which is the dire need for truck parking. According to a report published by ATRI (American Transportation Research Institute) in December 2016, “Safe, legal truck parking has historically been a major issue for motor carriers and commercial drivers, but the problem is now reaching a critical juncture. State budget woes have led to the elimination of many hundreds of public truck parking spaces. Evolving supply chains and truck operational changes have moved the truck parking “sweet spot” form many urban areas. Even planning issues such as zoning, property condemnation and “livable communities” have had a major impact on the quantity and location of critical truck parking. Among truck driver respondents, “truck parking” was the third highest ranked issue in 2016.”

This report corroborates The Jason’s Law report released in 2015 and confirms what DOT (Department of Transportation) officials have stated. According to their numbers, “59 percent of states have truck parking shortages in public rest areas and 31 percent have truck parking shortages in private truck stops.”

An ELD will automatically record truck movements if a driver must move a truck because they are forced to do so by law enforcement, shippers, consignees or weather. If a driver is out of drive time for that designated period, this will automatically give the driver and HOS (Hours of Service) violation and could result in a fine and termination from a company. Yet often drivers are forced to do so. However, part of this problem can be easily addressed by giving drivers back their clock. What I mean by that is currently HOS regulations dictate that a driver cannot stop the 14-hour clock once it is started unless said driver takes an 8-hour sleeper berth rest period.

This means that once our day is started we have 13.5 hours to get our 11-hour driving period done. We do not actually get to work 14 hours, because we are forced to take an off-duty, often unpaid 30-minute break within an 8-hour period. This means that myself and, per ATRI’s survey, many other drivers lose anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and a half of productivity every day just looking for parking. We must be parked before our drive time runs out, and if by chance there is no space at our first choice, we must go to plan B. At the same time, it can take up to 30 minutes to park once we find a spot, depending upon how busy the area is (i.e. waiting for other trucks to get parked or out of the way). By allowing drivers to stop their 14-hour clock when the need arises, many times such issues can be avoided. Which brings me to my second topic: “Congestion.”

Because drivers are forced to continue once started, many of us find ourselves spending more time sitting in traffic jams (again affecting productivity), that could have been avoided by simply stopping our clock and taking a short break during rush hour traffic. Of course, there are times when our clock is dictated by shipping and receiving appointment times.

However, even those times can be adjusted to some degree, due to traffic volume in certain areas. Still, per another report by ATRI in April of 2016, congestion has a cost. Their research shows that over 728 million hours are lost every year due to congestion, which is the same as 264,781 commercial drivers sitting still for an entire year, and causing an operational cost increase of over 49.6 billion dollars. [4] Most of that in fuel, which intern causes more environmental issues.

Every driver understands the need for regulated time and safe practices. I have more than 18 years’ experience now, and I remember how drivers abused HOS and paper logs. If asked, every driver can see the need for a 14-hour workday limit. Nevertheless, if asked, every driver will tell you their productivity and safety would be better addressed if they could start and stop their clock when the need arises. There is no reasonable excuse to take that ability from a driver. Drivers are even forced to drive in bad weather, when their instincts tell them they should stop, creating more unsafe conditions.

I know it is hard to find in government entities, but where is the common sense? Why can’t the FMCSA simply place a 14-hour limit within a 24-hour period. That way drivers are still limited to only 14 working hours per day, but have the ability to split that up, to better enhance their own productivity and safety.

Personally, I have discovered that the loss in productivity between parking issues and congestion costs me anywhere from 1 to 2 loads a month, which in turn might cost me anywhere between $1,000 and $5,000 a month as an owner-operator, or about $500 a week out of my paycheck as a company driver.

To give you another example: not long ago I worked as an end dump driver for a small 30-truck company. Because I had never done end dumps I had a trainer for about three weeks. During that three-week period my trainer and I chased another of their drivers around the country picking up and dropping our loads with the same customers. Yet by the end of the three-week period, the driver still on paper logs picked up two more loads than we did. Knowing what the loads paid, I did some estimated figures and discovered that once all their trucks are on ELDs each truck will lose about two loads a month, which equals about $250,000 of lost revenue to the company per month. You’re a business man — I think you can see that companies cannot afford to lose that kind of money every month. This is not because drivers are cheating on paper logs. This is because on paper logs we have 7.5 minutes of wiggle room, because they are broken down to 15-minute increments. So if in the morning I must log 15 minutes for fueling, but it only takes me 7 minutes to actually do it, then at night I can make up that time if it takes me a little longer to find a parking space.

All of that said, I would like to bring up another issue which seems to have not been addressed in any way. That is the potential for hacking. Every truck built from the year 2000 and on (and some earlier models) are controlled by a computer, what we in the industry call an ECM (electronic control module). This is why the mandate for ELDs only applies to trucks built in model year 2000 or later. These ECMs control everything from speed to fuel consumption and engine braking. At the same time, ELDs are by and large monitored by companies in the home office, which means they are connected to the internet. This opens the door for possible intrusions, and may allow for hackers to gain control over a truck, determining how fast it will go, even completely shut a truck down if they wish. Think of it, a tanker hauling jet fuel purposely shut down in the middle of rush-hour traffic, say on the George Washington Bridge in New York, creating a very unsafe condition for accidents, or worse — potential terrorist attack. We are already seeing trucks being hijacked and used in such attacks around the world. Sir, I am a Marine, I proudly served my country and take pride in continuing to do so as a trucker. I pray that neither I nor one of my fellow drivers is ever put in that position. This is a concern that needs immediate attention if this mandate is to proceed.

While this is just one issue the trucking industry is currently facing, it is the most crucial. Another issue currently pressing upon us by those in government, are the desires of certain people and entities to place limits on how fast a truck should be governed. Yet once again they do not take into consideration the drivers ability and need to control their truck, nor how it will affect productivity, or congestion. If they do, they simply brush it off, so they can push through their own agendas. Mr. President, the ATA (American Trucking Associations) do not have the best interest of truckers at heart. Please do not let them fool you — they are only lobbying for the major mega carriers. Only the OOIDA (Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association) looks out for the individual driver, and they are a resource you can trust. Not only do they want a safe environment for drivers, but they also want what is fair for all, small and big alike.

Driver pay is another major issue in our industry, but in the interest of keeping this letter as short as possible I will not get into it deeply now. However, just to give some idea of what is going on, twice in the last year the ATA and others have tried to piggyback and push piece pay (that is pay per-mile) into at least two bills, thereby forever setting in stone how drivers should be paid. Sir, it was determined years ago that piece count pay systems were unconstitutional [for many workers], yet it still goes on in our industry. Driver pay and wages are in dire need of reform — drivers have not had a cost of living increase in 33 years, and today make less for more work, than our fathers and grandfathers did as drivers. Another reason they are trying to push it through is to protect some mega carriers from law suits currently being fought over. I am all for someone having a dream and making it pay off, but there comes a point when greed takes over and tramples the dreams of others. Did you know that drivers often sit at loading or unloading docks for 2 hours or more, and never get compensated for their time? You want safe roads and drivers, designate them as skilled labor, pay them by the hour for all of their time, and drivers will slow down because they will not have to push to make up lost time and wages.

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Thank you Clifford and Scott and all those who have dedicated their time for the benefit of others.

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DOTAuthority.com files Counterclaim against FTC

Mar
22,
2017
0

DOTAUTHORITY.COM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Andrew Gordon, Esq. (847) 580-1279 media@dotauthority.com
DOTAuthority.com and Affiliates Move to File Counterclaim Against the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) for Defamation and Tortious Interference

FTC building
March 21, 2017 – Fort Lauderdale, FL – Corporate Plaintiffs DOTAuthority.com, Inc., DOTfilings.com, Inc., Excelsior Enterprises International, Inc., and JPL Enterprises International, Inc. and Individual Plaintiffs James P. Lamb, and Uliana Bogash (collectively, the “Plaintiffs”) announced today that they have moved the court for leave to file a counterclaim against the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) alleging defamation and tortious interference (CIVIL ACTION NUMBER: 0:16-cv-62186-WJZ) in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

According to court documents filed on Monday, March 20, 2017, the Plaintiffs have moved to file an action for declaratory and injunctive relief against the FTC to correct press releases, blog posts, scam alert listings, and public comments by the FTC and/or its designated representatives, that are alleged to have severally injured the reputation and revenue of the Individual and Corporate Plaintiffs. The Counterclaim also asserts a cause of action for the FTC’s tortious interference with Corporate Plaintiffs’ business relationships.

This suit arises from the FTC’s original September 2016 allegations that DOTAuthority.com and its affiliates were engaging in deceptive online advertising practices in violation of Section 5(a), of the Federal Trade Commission Act (“FTC Act”), 15 U.S.C. § 45(a) and Section 4 of the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act (“ROSCA”), 15 U.S.C. § 8403. DOTAuthority.com is a fifteen year old motor carrier registration business that helps interstate commercial carriers remain compliant with the slew of complex and rapidly-changing State and Federal regulations. Despite pre-existing disclaimers on DOTAuthority.com’s marketing materials, websites, and shopping carts that stated the company is a third party and “not the Department of Transportation,” the FTC has alleged that DOTAuthority.com engaged in deceptive businesses practices by misleading consumers into believing DOTAuthority.com was affiliated with a governmental entity.

On September 15, 2016, the FTC obtained an ex parte temporary restraining order without DOTAuthority.com’s knowledge, freezing the personal and business assets of DOTAuthority.com and its owner James Lamb, and imposing a court-appointed receiver to wrest control of the business away from Lamb during the pendency of the proceedings. DOTAuthority.com and Lamb were thus placed in the position of having to defend themselves without access to any funds for legal fees or business records – records and funds that were necessary to mount a legal defense at the subsequent hearing.

Two weeks later, on September 29, 2016, the Federal court took witness testimony from Lamb and heard arguments from DOTAuthority.com’s counsel, all of which highlighted the facts that: (i) the FTC’s ex parte request for an asset freeze and receivership was improvident; (ii) the FTC acted inappropriately by implying that exigent circumstances existed when, in fact, no emergency ever existed; and (iii) DOTAuthority.com was an established, bona fide business that was both legitimate and helpful to hundreds of thousands of customers nationwide who relied on DOTAuthority.com for their interstate common carrier registrations and annual permits.

DOTAuthority.com prevailed at the hearing, and the asset freeze and receivership were immediately lifted by the Federal Judge. A greatly modified preliminary injunction still issued; however, the restrictions of the injunction were entirely acceptable to DOTAuthority.com and, in fact, were previously offered to the FTC by DOTAuthority.com prior to the evidentiary hearing.

In specific, DOTAuthority.com’s March 20, 2017 Counterclaim against the FTC alleges that the FTC engaged in a “twisted campaign to damage the [Plaintiffs’] business and personal reputations . . . .” See Counterclaim at 3. The Counterclaim further asserts that several of the FTC publications at issue falsely characterized Plaintiffs as “scammers” and “crooks,” and inappropriately opine on Plaintiffs’ culpability in the absence of a final judgment.

According to one of the members of DOTAuthority.com’s legal team, Attorney Andrew Gordon:

“The FTC’s publications at issue in the Counterclaim collectively mischaracterize the substance of the September 29, 2016 Preliminary Injunction Order, causing proximate and irreparable injury to the Defendants’ reputations and revenues.”

The FTC is represented by attorneys Karen S. Hobbs, Danielle Estrada, Connell McNulty and Collot Guerard.

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More Flexibility or Higher Wages for Truck Drivers?

Mar
21,
2017
0

More Flexibility or Higher Wages for Truck Drivers?

More Flexibility or Higher Wages for Truck Drivers?

Pat Hockaday-TruckersUnited.org

Dr. Michael Belzer, an economist, recently told me that if Drivers wages increased 20%, the price of goods on the shelf would only increase about one half of 1%.
That’s .50 cents on a $100 grocery bill.

Our economy is only paying for Distance Traveled NOT the Time It Takes to Travel Distance. Our economy is NOT Paying for the inefficiencies of the HOS, the Drivers are and this is why the Drivers ignorantly want more “Available Working Hours”.

Have we seen our wages go up Any Other Time we were given “More Flexibility”?
No we haven’t because the Laws of Supply and Demand dictate that an overabundance of anything has less value.

The HOS does not prevent Drivers from taking naps or stopping while traffic settles. Pick up and delivery schedules do.
The need to keep the wheels turning places us in the position to keep Drivers Schedules Tight!
In other words, “drivers can’t afford to run legally” and truck drivers can’t afford anything but a Tight Schedule.

While the HOS are problematic, the biggest problem drivers have are the deplorable wages.

If the economy was paying for the regulations that are in place and it was found that the regulations created too much of a burden on the economy, do you think they would keep piling more and more regulations upon drivers?

Is the 14hr rule unsafe or is it how we apply the 14hr rule trying to keep our Schedules tight that is unsafe?
We Need To Be Able to Afford To Operate In Full Compliance,  however our wages at the rate they are now, combined with the 14 hour clock, AND the fact that we wait for hours at the docks, has created a sense of urgency.  Why? To earn more money. Truckers are forced to work more hours (drive more) making up for hours they lost doing their “other unpaid work”. Truck drivers work more hours making up for unpaid time.

READ MORE  “Driver Productivity Increases as Wages Plummet”

Flooding the market with “Available Working Hours” ( waiting for free, doing paper work, inspections, etc..) goes in the WRONG DIRECTION.
This is what is keeping truck wages low! Working for “free” 30-40 hours/week

Read MORE  “The more unpaid hours you work, the less valued you are”

Has every driver “earned” exemptions from the HOS or just the Experienced Drivers?
Do we want All Drivers exempt from the 14hr rule?
I believe that only Experienced Drivers should be exempt from the 14hr rule.

We have fought regulations unsuccessfully for years.
I think it’s time to start fighting for a wage fitting the 24/7 job so that we can afford to give “We The People” the services they expect while operating within the regulations that “We The People” have demanded be put in place!

Cheap Freight Relies on Cheap Labor!
Safety Comes At a Price!
WHERE IS THE COMPROMISE?

We Can’t Continue Paying the Price for What “We The People” Want and Demand From US!
Governed by the Clock and Paid by the Piece is an UNSAFE Contradiction!
Again I say “WHERE IS THE COMPROMISE?

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Self insurance in the competitive trucking market

Mar
20,
2017
3

Self Insurance. The Deck is Stacked in Trucking

Photo courtesy of: Maren Guse, cnycentral.com

I got a phone call from Tilden Curl earlier. It seems that Bloomberg News has become aware of his paper calling for the elimination of a carriers ability to self insure. This is great news as the public needs to be aware of how the deck is stacked!

***********************************************************************************************************

Here is an excerpt from Tilden’s Paper:
Any company purchasing insurance coverage must have a risk assessment completed by the insuring company to determine the risk exposure of the insured party. This creates a three party scenario; the insurer, the insured, and the claimant. This system functions well because the risk assessment and settlement is made by a third party (the insurer). When the insurer and the insured are the same entity, a claimant is forced to negotiate directly with the offending party.

Some large self-insured companies in the trucking industry are considered “Training Companies”. For this reason, a risk assessment should be determined by a third party and not by the company holding the financial responsibility for the actions of its drivers. The fairest method is to require insurance company professionals make that evaluation to maintain an industry standard.

To further understand how the carrier’s ability to self insure affects the trucking industry
read the entire PDF-  Tilden’s paper on self insuring

Tilden Curl

OOIDA Life Member Tilden Curl testifying before the Small Business subcommittee

You will realize, there is an unfair advantage that the self insured carriers have.

It’s like sitting in on a poker game and everybody has $5.00 but one guy has $50.00. We know who is going to walk away the winner.

Self insured carriers have underwriters just as insurance companies, as I understand it. They have to work with the underwriters to establish terms of responsibility, who is responsible for what, for how much and under what conditions. The underwriters position is very much like an insurance companies position but on a much larger scale.

Consider it to be like your auto insurance policy. The higher the deductible, the more risk you assume. A higher deductible relieves the insurance company of risk meaning they can charge you less. You are one customer, possibly with several vehicles, doing business with a large company that has many customers like you. The insurance company has their risk spread out over many customers who have few vehicles each.

The self insured part of this is comparable to the carriers having a HUGE deductible. By setting things up this way, the carriers have assumed the role of the “Settling Party” for they, themselves, the “Offending Party”.

We have all heard nightmare stories of the mega carrier who inflicted costly damages only to not pay out a dime or only a small percentage of the damage they inflicted.
The claimant or the claimant’s insurance company does not have opportunity to work with the offending parties insurance company so that the details of a just settlement are compromised upon. The self insured carriers ARE the offending party AND the insurance company.

The underfunded small guy is up against a well funded FAT CAT who has time on their side when a claimant goes up against a self insured carrier. There is too much power in the hands of the “Offending Party”.

The self insured carriers are the guy at the poker game with $50.00, they are in position to bluff and hold out.

By eliminating the third party insurance companies from their business model, the self insured carriers have positioned themselves to influence higher insurance cost on all other carriers because they, the self insured, do not contribute to the overall insurance pool from which claims are paid.

At a savings of say, $800.00 per unit per month in insurance cost, a carrier of 1,000 trucks has $800,000 dollars a month less overhead allowing them to bid freight at approximately .08 cpm less than the average carrier.

Being self insured also permits these carriers to hire those who may not yet be competent drivers at a lower pay rate. In effect, the self insured carriers have positioned themselves to hire inexperienced, unproven, Novice Drivers at a Rock Bottom Labor Rate. This in and of itself gives these carriers the ability to set the minimum labor rate for ALL Drivers

Some suggest that the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1896 has been breached by enabling self insurance to exist at the level of the corporations.
The ability to self insure places to much power in the hands of a few to influence the going market rate and this Directly Affects the Value of All Drivers.

Lower operating cost and lower labor cost place the mega self insured in position to dictate lower market rates that we must all compete within.
Don’t forget, it was the self insured carriers that supported a 400% increase in OUR liability insurance.  I wonder why?

You can read Tilden’s paper on this subject:
http://www.teccotrucking.com/…/self-insurance-paper-1-20.pdf

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ATA counting on driver apathy to get Anti-Trucker bill passed

Mar
14,
2017
3

URGENT:   STOP New Legislation-Truck Driver Wages at Risk!!
STATES RIGHTS at RISK.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have reason to believe The American Trucking Association is counting on drivers to focus their conversations, debates, quarrels, and complaints on Social Media RATHER THAN make their phone calls to Washington.
US Capitol Switchboard  202-224-3121

Denham Language, now referred to as “Federal Authority” language or FAAAA(F4A) Preemption language will be included in the THUD bill coming up for vote soon OR the VERY POPULAR Infrastructure bill on the horizon.  The section of the THUD bill with the “poison language” would preside in FEDERAL Authority SEC 134 of the bill.
We will need to wait and see where it will be “slipped in” to the Infrastructure bill.

Certain state laws assert that employees must be paid for ALL working time as well as rest breaks. (drivers do not have to take these rest breaks, but they are paid for them)

ATA (American Trucking Association- Representing Trucking Companies)  has stated they will continue to push hard, lobbying Congress to include FEDERAL preemption of  states’ labor laws in a major bill.
ATA goal is to prevent drivers from being paid for ALL working TIME.

The ATA has openly  stated that it is their PRIORITY to Preempt state labor laws, preventing  states from including truckers in their labor laws, exempting truckers from being paid for all time.

The legislation  which the ATA is attempting to get passed into law, is an attempt to override Federal Judges rulings who have maintained that F4A does not preempt state labor laws and States have a Right to protect employees, including truckers, ensuring payment for ALL working time, such as detention time. The trucking industry itself has determined that drivers work 30-40 hours extra/week without being compensated.

The trucking industry has been a solid supporter of Republicans for the last two decades, regularly giving more than 75 percent of its contributions to the party and its candidates.
The industry’s biggest spender on lobbying in 2014 and in many past years was the American Trucking Association, the largest trade association in the trucking arena. In the last five years, the ATA spent over $9 million to have its interests heard in Washington.

BUT a majority of drivers also voted and Supported President Trump and the GOP. Truckers are depending on the newly elected GOP Congress to relieve them of over bearing regulations which interfere with anything that will prevent them from earning a FAIR WAGE.  If the GOP includes the FAAAA Preemption clause into the THUD bill (or Infrastructure bill)  and if it becomes law, this will be perceived as a huge act of betrayal among professional drivers.

If this law is allowed to pass, it will affect drivers the same way as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has affected them. This would be ONE MORE EXEMPTION against drivers’ wages!

This New Law which the ATA is trying to pass will PREVENT Drivers from any hope of trucker pay reform, including EVER being paid for anything more than Cents per Mile (CPM) or piece work wages. It’s worse than any regulation could be for drivers.

FAAAA Insertion in Thud bill Preempts States Rights

Trucker Wages: The Devastating affects if Congress amends F4A

The Poison language attempting to be included, will most likely be in the 2017 THUD bill to be voted on as early as April.  Already voted on in 2016,  THUD (H.R. 5394), was approved in 2016, Federal Authority SEC 134 included, by the House. It will need to be voted on again in the House in 2017, then the Senate Appropriations will have its own version, and then the 2 bills will be reconciled, and eventually signed by the president into law…. with oe without the FEDERAL AUTHORITY preemption.

Truckers might not have millions in lobbying money like the ATA does, but we are over 3 million strong!!!

Who will Congress listen to?  The ATA or the Drivers?  The Answer is…. THE LOUDEST VOICE. That includes ALL who believe that Professional Truckers should not be exploited and deserve to be paid for ALL their working hours.

A significant number of drivers have prevented this language 2 times from being included in a bill. Once in the FAST ACT and once in the FAAA reauthorization bill.

Yes, they’re active on Social Media PLUS make phone calls.

It is Imperative once again that we ALL call our Representatives and tell them not to pass language in any bill, such as in the THUD bill or Infrastructure bill,  which will Preempt STATES RIGHTS to pay truckers for their working time.
Drivers deserve to be paid a FAIR WAGE. They are making same wages as the 1980’s.
Vote NO on the SECTION of ANY bill which prevents this from happening. ( It was in Sec 134 under Federal Authority of THUD)

Tell Them to REMOVE the Section in the bill which force them to continue working 30-40 hours extra per week without being compensated.  If the section of this bill is allowed to pass, Carriers will never be obligated to pay ANYTHING more than piece work wages…. NO MATTER HOW MANY HOURS drivers WORK.
CALL NOW and OFTEN  US Capitol Switchboard  202-224-3121

NOTES:
Understanding FAAAA Preemption provision, the ATA motive, and the court decisions

U.S. Congress enacted a statute

(now codified at 49 U.S.C. § 14501 (c)(1)) that controls over state and local law:

General rule .—Except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3), a 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 (other than a carrier affiliated with a direct air carrier covered by section 41713 (b)(4)) or any motor private carrier, broker, or freight forwarder with respect to the transportation of property

The ATA expresses that the language in the FAAAA (F4A) preemption should include the preempting of states’ labor laws for truckers.

The Ninth Circuit Court Disagreed and  held that “generally applicable background regulations that are several steps removed from prices, routes, or services, such as prevailing wage laws, are not preempted, even if employers must factor those provisions into their decisions about the prices that they set, the routes that they use, or the services that they provide.”.

Want to listen to the replay of what will happen if we don’t make our phone calls?

 

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D.C. Memorial Procession to honor 500 slain workers in interstate transportation

Mar
8,
2017
0

As yet another trucker is murdered in Houston, TRUCKER LIVES MATTER declares September 5th, 2017 is “DAY WITHOUT A TRUCKER”

Day without a trucker

Trucker Lives Matter- Day Without A Trucker Protest 9-5-17

Michael’s Law Amendment to 18 U.S.C. 926A -Fact Sheet

Traditionally, the day after Labor Day represents the first day back to work after the holiday weekend, and an unofficial end to Summer vacations. But this year, that may be different for many members of the trucking industry…

Just as the rest of America will be returning to work on Tuesday, September 5th, 2017, including members of Congress– who return from Summer recess and formally go back into session that day, interstate truckers who have joined and support the TRUCKER LIVES MATTER (TLM) movement, which is sponsored by the Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC), a 501(c)(6) industry trade group, are planning to take that day off and drive instead to Washington, D.C. to publicize the need for them to be able to carry firearms nationwide to protect themselves while living and working on the road.

Slain Trucker Michael Boeglin and his wife, Ashley to be honored in D.C. Memorial Procession

Dubbed by TLM as a “DAY WITHOUT A TRUCKER” –an obvious pun on today’s “Day Without a Woman” celebration, this TLM event is being billed by TLM leaders as a “memorial procession” to honor and remember the 500 workers in interstate transportation slain over the past decade, a statistic cited by U.S. Department of Labor, like over-the-road, interstate trucker Michael Boeglin, who was killed and burned in his truck in Detroit in June of 2014, an incident that sparked the beginnings of the TLM movement.

“We are today establishing a planning committee and will seek the assistance of law enforcement so that the memorial procession, which will have a religious component to it in furtherance of truckers’ First Amendment rights, does not unreasonably impede traffic, create havoc for people trying to enter or exit the interstate, or encourage tail-gaiting. We would encourage residents of Washington, D.C. to consider taking public rail transportation to get to work on September 5th as we do not know how many truckers will respond to the call to join our national memorial procession,” SBTC President and TLM Spokesman James Lamb said today.

A TLM poll conducted over the past few days shows overwhelming support for the event and suggests that hundreds of truckers are already planning on making the trip to Washington, D.C. More than 80% of 850 trucker respondents have indicated they would likely attend.

Currently, the patchwork of state laws and lack of nationwide reciprocity for firearms permits puts truckers in precarious if not dangerous life threatening-situations. Lamb has therefore sent requested legislation to Senator Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) office as SBTC is based in Fort Lauderdale, FL. According to this SBTC document, which was sent to all members of Congress on Monday, March 6th, 2017, Rubio’s staff members are currently drafting a bill for introduction into the Senate and have asked SBTC to help them find a sponsor for a companion bill in the House of Representatives. With respect to interstate travel among the states, the bill seeks to endorse the Second Amendment as a matter of “Constitutional Carry” for all Americans and pre-empt the states from regulating firearms carried into, out of, or through their states. Lamb said more than 6,000 members of his group have petitioned the NRA to support his bill but the NRA-ILA remains silent to date.

LATEST TRUCKER MURDER
Today’s announcement comes on the heels of the latest murder of a Houston-based trucker named Wilmer Erazo who was found shot to death in a truck yard earlier this week. Sadly, Erazo, the latest victim of gun violence directed against truckers, leaves behind three children.

PRESS CONFERENCE
TLM has scheduled a dial-in press conference to discuss the event for 10:00 AM Eastern time on Friday, March 24th, 2017 to coincide with the industry’s largest annual truck show event being held in Louisville, KY. The conference call number is (712) 775-7031 and the access code is 495-071-244.

Truckers and other interested parties can connect with TLM on Facebook or through the group’s website http://www.TruckerLivesMatter.com.

ABOUT SBTC
The SBTC is a network of transportation professionals, associations, and industry suppliers that is on the front lines when it comes to issues that affect transportation professionals in small business. We seek to promote and protect the interests of small businesses in the transportation industry. We support teamwork, cooperation, transparency, and partnerships among truckers, carriers, brokers, and shippers and seek to promote ethical business practices and do business with the utmost integrity.

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Women trucker self defense course confronts attacks against women

Feb
20,
2017
0

Social Trucking Group to Engage Taekwondo on the High Seas

United States Taekwondo Directory

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla.Jan. 10, 2017PRLog — The Real Women in Trucking Organization, a 501 (c) 6 trade association, will host a two hour Women’s Basic Self Defense Class in an unprecedented measure to bring awareness to the dangers female drivers face while living life on the road. The class will be part of the organization’s 1st Annual Lady Truck Driver Cruise, another first-of-its-kind event taking place March 26 through April 1, 2017.

Allen Smith, founder of the United States Taekwondo Directory and well-known trucking advocate will be conducting the class during the “Queen of the Road on the High Seas” event.

“For most people, the realm of professional over-the-road trucking is a secret world,” Allen pointed out. “It is recognized as a dangerous job but it goes far beyond that. It does not take into account the threats these men and women face while traveling into dangerous areas in the country in order to pick-up or deliver the goods. The industry operates 24/7 and the opportunities for assault, especially against women drivers, can be high. I don’t know too many women who like to walk across a dark, isolated parking lot for a 3 a.m. delivery appointment in Chicago or the Bronx. It makes sense to provide practical self defense education to those who keep America moving.”

The class will focus on real-life street assault scenarios. The purpose is to provide easy-to-understand, yet effective techniques that are efficient in a street attack.

Mr. Smith expanded by saying: “The problem with many women’s self defense classes is that they are unrealistic and in most cases, can get the person hurt in a real-life situation. This is a very real and dangerous issue within the industry and I take it very seriously. Will they leave a two-hour class as experts in self defense? Absolutely not, but they will have a better understanding of how to react if ever faced with a violent confrontation.”

Desiree Wood, founder of Real Women in Trucking, expanded on the importance for self defense instruction for women drivers:

“The self defense class idea came as a result of women drivers asking for it when we planned the cruise. Many of these drivers have never been given basic self defense instruction though they often find themselves working in isolated areas with poor lighting that are not familiar to them. There was an expressed desire by the women of the organization to have an actual class instruction while on the cruise.”

“In today’s world women should know some basic self defense skills. Truck drivers, regardless of gender, are at risk to be robbed and assaulted in the course of their work environment. Professional truck drivers need to have a general understanding on how to protect against an assault or avoid one altogether.” Desiree Wood

For a complete itinerary of the six-day cruise, visit the 1st Annual Lady Truck Driver Cruise page. All those in trucking and their families are invited to attend.

Common Street Attacks against women

Common Street Attacks against women- Self defense class scheduled March 27th – RealWomenInTrucking.org Lady Truck Driver Cruise

Allen Smith who was formerly in law enforcement and has taught Traditional Tae Kwon Do both publicly and privately since receiving his first black belt in 1979 will be teaching a “Women’s Basic Self Defense” course for attendees of the cruise that includes the following:

 
* Self Defense Theory of Simplicity
* Recognizing the 5 Stages of Imminent Violence
* The 5 Most Common Places For Attacks On Women
* The 5 Most Common Street Attacks on Women
* Soft Target Focus : Proven Self Defense Techniques : (Group Participation)
* Improvised Weapons
* Self Defense Legalities
Every attendee will receive a detailed booklet of the seminar to keep as a study/reference guide.

There’s still time
For additional cruise information including sponsorship opportunities contact Donna Smith at: donna@realwomenintrucking.org or desiree@realwomenintrucking.org

For media inquiries, contact: Desiree Wood via: info@realwomenintrucking.org.

If you are a martial arts instructor who holds a 3rd degree black belt or above and would like to participate in the class instruction, contact Allen Smith via the details listed below.

Contact
Allen Smith
United States Taekwondo Directory

Allen Smith, founder of United States Taekwondo Directory will teach a two hour Women’s Basic Self Defense Class to bring awareness to the dangers female drivers face while living life on the road. The class will be part of the the RealWomenInTrucking.org 1st Annual Lady Truck Driver Cruise, taking place March 26 through April 1, 2017.

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Judge grants class certification against C.R. England Student-Truck Lease Lawsuit

Feb
14,
2017
1

For many years I’ve been writing and warning new drivers not to be lured by company truck Lease Purchase programs.  Most veteran drivers know that  carrier Lease Agreements are meant for the company to be profitable and the driver to fail.

On January 31, 2017  IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF UTAH – CENTRAL DIVISION   MEMORANDUM
DECISION AND ORDER


Utah U.S. District Court judge, Judge Robert J. Shelby, granted certification to a nationwide class of truck drivers who allege fraud and other statutory claims against C.R. England.
The court issued this favorable ruling for truck drivers, certifying a class action in the C.R. England Student Driver- Truck Lease lawsuit.

Truck drivers allege claims of fraud, false advertising, and company unjust enrichment against C.R. England

Plaintiffs Charles Roberts and Kenneth McKay, who drove for C.R. England as independent contractors and leased trucks from Horizon in 2009, allege that the defendants developed a fraudulent plan to induce thousands of people to enroll in C.R. England’s driver training schools by promising students “the choice” of eventual employment as a company driver or the ability to earn a desirable income driving as an independent contractor. Truckers claimed however that the company driver positions were largely unavailable, leaving the enticing option to lease trucks from England and become independent contractor drivers.

Judge Shelby certified a nationwide class of C.R. England drivers who meet the following criteria:

1) signed the Vehicle Leasing Agreement with Horizon,

2) signed the Independent Contractor Operating Agreement with C.R. England,

3) during the applicable statute of limitations period, and

4) drove at least one day as an IC lease operator for C.R. England.

“This is a putative class action brought against two affiliated trucking companies by drivers once associated with those companies. Plaintiffs Charles Roberts and Kenneth McKay allege that Defendants C.R. England, Inc. and Opportunity Leasing, Inc. developed a fraudulent plan to induce thousands of people to enroll in England’s driver training schools by promising students the choice of eventual employment as a company driver or the ability to earn a desirable income driving as an independent contractor.  Plaintiffs contend that in reality, company driver positions were largely unavailable, and students in the driver training schools were subjected to a misinformation campaign to convince them to lease trucks from the Defendants and become independent contractor drivers affiliated with England. Hundreds, if not thousands, of students were persuaded to invest substantial sums of money to lease trucks from Defendants and become independent contractor drivers. But many soon found they could not earn a living as they had 2
been led to believe, and were left debt-ridden.

Plaintiffs sue to recover on behalf of these drivers and now move the court for class certification.
1 Defendants acknowledge the hardship accompanying the life of a long-haul trucker, but vigorously deny Plaintiffs’ allegations. Defendants oppose class certification, 2 move for judgment on the pleadings on several of the Plaintiffs’ claims, 3 and request summary judgment under several theories. 4 To Defendants, the fraud Plaintiffs allege is a fiction, and myriad individualized issues make this case unsuitable for class certification.
After careful consideration of the pleadings, the parties’ extensive briefing and post-hearing submissions, the record developed, and the arguments presented by counsel, the court grants Defendants’ motion for judgment on the pleadings, denies Defendants’ motion for summary judgment, and grants in part and denies in part Plaintiffs’ motion for class certification.”  Read the entire Order here

If you are a current or former lease driver for C.R. England and want to share your experience as a lease driver go to CR England Class Action Lawsuit Website

We will be having the attorney for this case, Robert S. Boulter – Certified Specialist In Franchise and Distribution Law- on AskTheTrucker “Live” Saturday Feb 25th 6PM ET .

 

NOTE: A Certification Court ruling allows one or several drivers to bring suit for all others similarly situated.  In this CR England case for instance, the court allowed two drivers to sue on behalf of all 11,000.  These drivers are now all part of the case unless they opt out.  It’s s powerful tool to aggregate workers rights to seek back wages due.

Interestingly, bill H.R. 985 has been introduced, “Fairness in Class Action” To amend the procedures used in Federal court class actions and multi-district litigation proceedings to assure fairer, more efficient outcomes for claimants and defendants, and for other purposes.

As with many bills, their titles can be misleading and must be looked at with a grain of salt. The title “Fairness in Class Action”, actually translates to restrictions so broad, that the ability for workers to file Class Actions against corporations would pretty much come to an end.  Many of these companies have allegedly and willfully taken advantage of their workers.

As we always say, Power is in numbers, and if H.R.985 is passed, corporations would no longer be accountable when mass injustice is part of their business plan.  Individuals would need to file individually rather than Class Action.

I can’t help but think, was the trucking industry involved in this bill?  How about “big pharma”?

If H.R.985 is passed, this could dissolve this CR England case,and if won by drivers,  drivers would not receive deserving compensation.

The ONLY Truck Lease we at AskTheTrucker.com and Truth About Trucking, LLC recommend is Lone Mountain Truck Leasing.

Lone Mountain Truck Lease

Lone Mountain Truck Lease (866) 512-5685

 

 

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Will the NRA embrace Michael’s Law Amendment Constitutional gun carry?

Feb
10,
2017
0

The National Rifle Association (NRA) has been trying for over a decade with various national reciprocity gun permit attempts.  In accordance with the 10th amendment, each state has their own laws when it comes to gun rights and the 2nd amendment, with many states being strongly against national reciprocity,believing it would infringe on their state’s rights.

Legal gun owners many times find crossing state lines with a firearm confusing, as a permit legal in one state may not be acknowledged by another state. Some have even been arrested doing so.

Concealed Carry Permit Reciprocity Maps
The Permit map link  shows which states you can carry concealed in as well as which state’s permits are honored in a particular state.

The most recent bill introduced to the house has been applauded by the NRA.
H.R. 38, The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, authored by Congressman Richard Hudson (NC-8).
The question arises however, that even if the NRA is successful with a Republican Congress and President, it is unclear whether such a move that uses Federal power to force one state to accept the standards of another, would withstand judicial scrutiny. Most likely, restrictive states like New York would challenge national reciprocity on 10th Amendment “States’ Rights” grounds and such a law could be declared by SCOTUS “UnConstitutional.
Thus any victory in this area could wind up being very short-lived.

James Lamb of the Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC) also has also been fighting for a gun rights law since 2014. The SBTC believes there is a better way to accomplish the NRA’s goal of national reciprocity, a “back door in” that avoids the state’s 10th amendment fight… It’s called the Michael’s Law Amendment

HISTORY OF THE MICHAEL’S Law Amendment

The initial attempt of the SBTC was called Michael’s law, named after murdered trucker Michael Boeglin.  Read more Trucker found shot in truck in Detroit, rig burned

The original 2014 Mike’s Law bill would have created a business carry permit for Americans working in Interstate Commerce. This was rejected by the NRA.
NRA objected to
(1) special carve out
(2) gun permitting leading to gun registration leading to confiscation.
So, James and the SBTC listened to NRA members, went back to the drawing board, and started all over from scratch.
SBTC  created Plan B the Michael’s Law Amendment to address the NRA and NRA membership’s concerns.

Both the NRA and the The Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC) believe there should be law allowing citizens to legally carry from state to state, relieving citizens with gun permits from the confusion of state carry laws.  The difference is the way these two organizations  have gone about addressing it.

The SBTC has chosen the different path of the Michael’s Law Amendment, one which they believe will be more tolerated by the states.   The amendment would be to an existing Federal firearms-related statute (18 U.S.C. 926A; Interstate Transportation of Firearms) in furtherance of the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause, calling for the statute to be re-entitled: “Interstate Possession, Transportation and Carrying of Firearms;”

As part of the Michael’s Law Amendment, SBTC has recently created the Trucker Lives Matter website which offers updates and information regarding the progress of the Michael’s Law Amendment. Along with the Trucker Lives Matter website, the Social Media group on Facebook, by the same name, is quickly becoming a movement. Tucker Lives Matter on Facebook presently has over 22,000 members in just 3 weeks.

Michael’s Law Amendment to 18 U.S.C. 926A

Michael’s Law Amendment is a PRO GUN Federal legislative effort that ‘tweaks’ an existing Federal statute already on the books called “Interstate Transportation of Firearms” (18 U.S.C. 926A). Michael’s Law Amendment has two parts that would essentially do four things:

1. Michael’s Law Amendment makes the distinction between merely “possessing” a locked, unloaded firearm only for the purpose of transporting it… and actually carrying a firearm in a loaded, readily-accessible capacity for self-defense purposes. Currently, 926A neither authorizes nor prohibits the “carrying” of firearms interstate; it just speaks to “possession” for the purpose of transporting it unloaded and locked up.

2. Michael’s Law Amendment makes it a Federal Law to be able to CARRY from one state to another state. Without the need for a permit at all. It essentially just reaffirms the Second Amendment and is a declaration of all American citizens’ right to CONSTITUTIONAL CARRY from state-to-state.

3. Michael’s Law Amendment preempts a state’s ability to regulate the carrying of firearms by an American citizen who is entering their state, leaving their state or passing through their state pursuant to Federal authority under the Commerce Clause.

4. Michael’s Law Amendment, in accordance with the 10th Amendment, respects a state’s right to regulate its own residents who choose to live, work, and travel point-to-point within that state’s boundaries. But that right stops once another state is introduced into the equation, again, as a matter of Federal authority to regulate commerce between the states.

Existing Law §926A. Interstate transportation of firearms 

Notwithstanding any other provision of any law or any rule or regulation of a State or any political subdivision thereof, any person who is not otherwise prohibited by this chapter
from transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm shall be entitled to transport a firearm for any lawful purpose from any place where he may lawfully possess and carry such
firearm to any other place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm if, during such transportation the firearm is unloaded, and neither the firearm nor any
ammunition being transported is readily accessible or is directly accessible from the passenger compartment of such transporting vehicle: Provided, That in the case of a vehicle
without a compartment separate from the driver’s compartment the firearm or ammunition shall be contained in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console. (Added Pub. L. 99–360, §1(a), July 8, 1986, 100 Stat. 766.)

Amended Law- Here is the full text of the proposed law:

18 U.S. Code 926A; (Renamed): Interstate possession, transportation and carrying of firearms…

(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of any Federal law or any Federal rule, a person who is an American citizen and is not otherwise prohibited by this chapter from possessing,
carrying, transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm shall be entitled to carry on his person in a loaded, readily-accessible capacity and transport a firearm for any lawful purpose
from any place in any state to any other place in a different state in accordance with the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.

(2) FEDERAL PREEMPTION The states are hereby preempted from regulating firearms that are transported into, out of, or through their state by a person who is an American citizen
and is not a resident of that state, regardless of whether or not the firearm is carried in a loaded, readily-accessible capacity, pursuant to the Commerce Clause of the United States
Constitution.

The Michael’s Law Amendment… It’s NOT just for truckers.

Although The Michael’s Law Amendment is not just for truckers, the truck driving community has embraces the concept of a back door for legal gun carry in all states.

Trucker Lives Matter appeared Live on the NRA-TV show on Tuesday, Jan. 31st, 2017 at 5:30pm Eastern

NRA TV Trucker Lives Matter

James Lamb of SBTC appears live on NRA -TV to discuss gun rights and the Michael’s Law Amendment

Petition to NRA to Endorse and Lobby for the Michael’s Law Amendment to 18 U.S.C. 926A

Q: How is Michael’s Law Amendment different from the NRA National Reciprocity bills?

A: The NRA has been pursuing “national reciprocity” in various different forms for over 10 years. They continue to go down this road. The SBTC is concerned that even if they are successful with a Republican Congress and President, it is unclear whether such a move that uses Federal power to force one state to accept the standards of another, would withstand judicial scrutiny. We expect highly restrictive states like New York would challenge national reciprocity on 10th Amendment “States’ Rights” grounds and such a law could be declared by SCOTUS “UnConstitutional.” So, any victory in this area could wind up being very short-lived. We believe there is a better way to accomplish this goal, a back door in that avoids the fight…

Once again, The SBTC bill merely tweaks an existing Federal statute (18 U.S.C. 926A) and creates a national right to carry from one state to another by asserting the “Commerce Clause” of the United States Constitution as the lawful basis for Congress to tell the states they may only regulate the carrying of firearms for their own residents that stay within their state. And it preempts them from interfering with interstate carrying of firearms in accordance with the Second Amendment. SBTS believes there is no bona fide states’ rights challenge since the Constitution clearly gives the Federal government jurisdiction over such matters pertaining to two or more different states.

The NRA has not officially recognized the Michael’s Law Amendment, although they did say they supported the right that “Mike’s Law” would bestow (without actually saying the supported the original Mike’s Law proposal outright.)
They have moved down only one path, the path to national reciprocity.

So the question is:  Will the NRA embrace Michael’s Law Amendment Constitutional gun carry?

The SBTC has been petitioning the NRA for over a year to lobby in favor of their bill as well.  Read more  Another Trucker Gets Shot: SBTC Challenges NRA to Back their Michael’s Law Amendment to 18 U.S. Code 926A to Allow Truckers to Defend Themselves

Trucker Lives Matter FAQ’s

***************************************

Truckers Lives Matters- Michael’s Law Amendment Press Release
Transportation Trade Group Launches ‘Trucker Lives Matter’ Movement

A South Florida-based non-profit transportation trade group representing small players in the industry across America, including truck drivers, says it is time to “Make the Roads Safe Again.”

In an effort to stop the current murder rate of interstate truckers– and other workers in interstate commerce– of approximately 50 men and women per year (according to US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics,) the Small Business in Transportation Coalition’s (“SBTC”) president, James Lamb, announced today the group has formally launched the ‘TRUCKER LIVES MATTER’ (“TLM”) movement through their new website: http://www.TruckerLivesMatter.com.

According to Lamb, the website directs truckers– and other interested Americans– to join the movement on social media by becoming a member of the group’s Facebook Page. TLM is encouraging supporters to adopt the TLM logo as their social media profile picture through this Twibbon campaign. The site is also selling TRUCKER LIVES MATTER t-shirts to raise funds. A detailed FAQ page explains the group’s legislative efforts, their take on NRA’s “national reciprocity” efforts, and the various existing state laws that currently prevent truckers from carrying firearms nationwide to protect themselves. Lamb’s bill asserts Federal authority through the Constitution’s “Commerce Clause,” which allows Congress to preempt the states’ regulation of guns entering, exiting, or merely passing through their states.

The website directs visitors to a petition to the National Rifle Association (“NRA”) in an effort to promote and acquire NRA support of the SBTC-written pro-gun bill called the “Michael’s Law Amendment (to 18 U.S.C. 926A),” named after the late Indiana-based over-the-road trucker Michael Boeglin who was killed and burned while sleeping in his truck in Detroit in June 2014. Lamb has been pursuing new legislation in various forms since Boeglin’s death. Boeglin’s then-pregnant widow Ashley Boeglin teamed up with Lamb in 2014 and signed on to the SBTC-led efforts to get a law passed that would enable truckers to thwart future attacks against them on the road. She has approved the use of her late husband’s name in connection with the legislation, currently under consideration by the Honorable U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL).

“If there’s one thing we have learned over the past two and a half years, it’s that you don’t get a pro-gun bill introduced into Congress easily without the support of the NRA,” Lamb noted. NRA disapproved of Lamb’s first legislative draft and he says they have not commented on the new version yet, which seeks to address NRA’s past concerns.

“Unlike our first attempt, this Plan B bill is not a special carve out for truckers in that it applies to all Americans and there is no gun permit or registration issue involved. We would hope the NRA is not opposed to simultaneously backing two bills, theirs and ours, as all roads lead to respecting the Second Amendment for all Americans,” Lamb said.

Rubio, from Miami, Florida, who ran for president this past election cycle (2015-2016), in part, on fighting ISIS and was later re-elected to the Senate in November 2016 to a new 6 year term, is a well known supporter of Second Amendment rights. Lamb said he has pointed out to Rubio’s staff that with all the recent terrorist “truck jackings” in Europe and an ISIS-inspired terrorist attack at Fort Lauderdale airport just two weeks ago, which is in SBTC’s home city and Rubio’s own state: “It’s only a matter of time before trucks are used as weapons by terrorists here on American soil,” Lamb warned.

“In talking with Rubio’s staff, we believe introduction of the bill into the U.S. Senate will happen later this month after the new Republican President has settled in, Lamb said.

The TruckerLivesMatter.com website points truckers to employers that will allow them to carry firearms to protect themselves against the dangers of living and working on the road, including the safe truck parking shortage recently highlighted by the Wall Street Journal.

Lamb appeared on Sirius XM’s Road Dog Trucking News with Mark Willis earlier this week to promote the new TLM movement and take calls for truckers. Lamb released this Facebook live footage, which represents an excerpt from the interview.

“I believe the fact that over 15,000 truckers immediately joined TLM within just a few days of our launching this movement shows that truckers believe their lives do indeed matter and it’s high time we ‘make the roads safe again’,” Lamb said.

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Congressional Law could further hurt driver wages IF no action is taken

Jan
19,
2017
1

InfoGraphic explains how upcoming Congressional Law could further hurt driver wages IF drivers and government officials do not take action… VOTE NO on anti-trucker provision to be introduced in THUD or Infrastructure bill of 2017.

Drivers! Call your Reps and tell them to…. Say NO to Additional Federal Law to Preempt State Labor Laws.
Call the Government Switchboard 202-224-3121

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

Should legislation pass WITH anti-trucker wording, it would ensure that drivers will be paid only for the miles they drive and none of the 30-40 hr/week they do in addition to driving.

Trucking industry lobbyists have stated that they plan to target the new Republican control in Washington, D.C., to pass legislation which would preempt State Labor laws. These state labor laws pay truckers for work and breaks in addition to their driving time.

American Trucking Associations and the Western States Trucking Association, both of whom have said legislation to assert federal authority over break and pay laws for truckers is a top-level agenda item in the coming years. “This actually is our No. 1 priority,” says Western States’ head of government affairs Joe Rajkovacz. Read more

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