There they go again!
It seems large motor carriers will do just about anything not to be accountable for paying significantly low truck driver wages, then taking measures to assure these low wages can not be overruled! All this, while they continue to keep their industry created driver shortage myth ongoing!
Proponents of the defeated Denahm Amendment, an amendment introduced in the 2015 highway bill, which would have negatively affected CDL driver wages, has now been included as a provision in the FAA Re-authorization bill (AIRR ACT). The provision this time though is not an amendment, but rather included in the actual bill itself.
Although the AIRR Act focuses on aviation and aircraft, a provision was slipped in deep within the bill as Section 611.
Who are the proponents supporting provision (Sec 611) and what EXACTLY would this mean for drivers?
In a February 1st letter sent to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, an argument was made by supporters of Sec 611, that it is necessary “to clarify the preemption provision of the FAA Authorization Act of 1994 to restore the goals Congress intended when it sought national uniformity for motor carriers in the transportation of property.”
(basically meaning that states can not override federal law. State laws can protect rights of drivers, including paying them for the work they do in excess of piece work)
Who sent this letter to the T&I House Committee and why?
Among those who sent the letter were the American Trucking Associations, the 50 ATA-affiliated state trucking associations, the National Private Truck Council, the Truckload Carriers Association and the Truck Renting and Leasing Association.
Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) and Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ) introduced the AIRR Act legislation which included the provision affecting driver wages.
If the provision is allowed to remain in the FAA bill (Sec 611), it would prohibit states from requiring employers to have to pay drivers certain types of added compensation, such as detention pay, pre and post trip inspections, paperwork, or just about any work other than piece work, commonly known as CPM.
In other words, a drivers’ day could include 14 hours of work, but if he/she only drives 200 miles out of that day, then that is all the driver would get paid for, according to Federal law.
Some may say, ” Well that’s all we get paid for now, what’s the difference?”
The answer is “A lot”
1) There are states which have required trucking employers to pay their drivers for rest and meal breaks along with other work (besides just piece work). The driver can waive taking breaks, but the carrier would still have to pay the driver for the determined time allotted by the governing state.
2) We are at a time right now when drivers are fighting for laws to be changed, to be paid for ALL TIME working, including such things s detention time. An inclusion of the 611 provision would squelch any hope that states could have extra protective wage laws for drivers, and since the ATA lobby is so powerful, it doesn’t appear hopeful that Federal Law would support drivers “paid for all time” any time soon.
Who is against provision -Section 611 of the AIRR Act?
Driver advocacy groups, OOIDA, and the Teamsters are among those against the FAA Reauthorization.
In a “call to action” by OOIDA, they stressed opposition to the preemption proposal for its inclusion of what it termed “an ambitious overreach that would limit the states’ ability to address pay issues. Section 611 contains the exact same provisions regarding fair-pay that our opponents unsuccessfully tried to include in the highway bill….“could unravel mandated fair pay for drivers and would empower large carriers to further reduce driver wages. It would also gut the ability for states to address critical items like payment for detention time.”
Teamster President James P. Hoffa stated, “Now lawmakers are at it again, using the FAA bill to endanger motorists all across the country. These elected officials are doing the bidding of the American Trucking Association, which wants drivers on the clock as much as possible for time behind the wheel,” he continued. “In fact, the provision would also limit how a truck driver could be paid and not even compensate them for safety procedures like performing pre-trip inspections. In addition to robbing drivers of pay, the language could prevent drivers from collecting workers compensation and sick leave benefits, among other worker benefits. In short, it overrules the fundamental principle that all workers should be paid for the time they work.”
What should drivers do to ensure that Sec 611 of the AIRR Act is not included?
Call their Lawmakers at the Capitol Switchboard 202-224-3121
Say “NO” TO Low Wages and Sec 611 of AIRR ACT! Dial 202-224-3121 for your Senator and Representative. When connected, Tell them to say NO to the Provision in the FAA Reauthorization bill in Section 611 on pages 256-258. Tell them this bill would eliminate the possibility for Truckers to ever be paid for all their time and would only assure MINIMUM WAGE for all their time. This would worsen already low wages for Truck Drivers and destroys any hope to be paid for all time.
Spread the word to other drivers!
If you are on Social Media, share the word with other drivers.
Here is an article explaining how to have your voice heard and the ability to go viral on Social Media
If you have a Twitter account, here are some Tweets to copy and Paste to post to your timeline.
AIRR Act Sec 611 Destroys any hope 4 #truckers 2B paid 4 all time~No overtime& only assures minimum wage.Call UR Reps! 202-224-3121
FAA Reauth bill~Sec 611 Destroys any hope 4 #truckers 2B paid 4 all time~ No overtime & only assures minimum wage.Call UR Reps! 202-224-3121
@Transport FAA reauthorization bill Provision Sec 611 would worsen already low wages 4 #truckers #politics #trucking http://ow.ly/Y4Vy5
FAA reauthorization bill~Provision Sec 611 worsens already low wages for #truckers #politics #trucking VOTE NO 202-224-3121
FAA reauthorization bill Provision Sec 611~Destroys hope for #truckers 2 ever have #fairwages # politics #trucking http://ow.ly/Y4Vy5
Attorney Christina Humphrey was our guest on AskTheTrucker Live Feb 6th 2016 and discussed the AIRR Act and what the consequences would mean for professional driver wages. Listen to the replay
Video explaining Denham Amendment (Same as FAA Sec 611)