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Truth behind trucker wage theft and FAA bill Section 611

Transportation Veteran Jerry Fritts of American Overland Freight

Transportation Veteran Jerry Fritts of American Overland Freight

Trucking management/American Trucking Assoc., an organization that claims to speak for the American Trucking Industry that does not have one truck driver member and furthermore claims a membership of about 36,000 members. Many of these members are manufacturing OEMs, distributors, supply chain mgt, etc. Also 36,000 members is still a small percentage of the over 500,000 trucking companies with DOT authority. However, most of the ATA members are the very wealthy large carriers that no doubt, can afford the political influence that are in THEIR best interest. Out in the real world of trucking most of the 500,000 small entrepreneurial and family operations, not to mention the over 3.5 million truck drivers, the ATA and TCA are viewed with contempt and distain. May I also remind people that the one of the original reasons for de-regulation was to allow more competition. Most of the ATA members are left over giants from before de-regulation that still seek to dominate/monopolize competition and exploit their human resources. Just check the driver turnover rates in the truckload industry. Their focus on “driver breaks”, btw I experienced these very same driver breaks as casual employee at APA Transport in 1966. It was a non issue. If you had a heavy workload that day dispatch asked me to “work through lunch”. Then you were compensated time and a half for that extra hour of work. That was the industry standard. The carriers didn’t even have computers to track this extra pay.

Denham Amendment Vote No

Say NO to FAA reauthorization – Section 611- Against unfair truck driver wages

Point here is, trucking mgt is using this to camouflage the real issues. They know just where to tickle the drivers’ emotions so that they can continue to hide the other extremely important issue, “misclassification of employment” that quickly evolves to “theft of wages” Trucking mgt in an effort to avoid the millions/billions of dollars of back wages, benefits, etc… that they have been stealing from drivers for decades even went to the Supreme Court regarding these scam employment policies. The Supreme Court agreed with the 9 Circuit in that these drivers had been misclassified and these drivers were in fact employees. Therefore, the employers had to go back and re-determine all their working pay, reimburse all truck payments, maintenance, fuel, etc. Conclusion of current article “Wage Theft at the Ports: $6.9 million awarded to 38 striking truck drivers” : …Pay Drivers $6.9 Million in “Stolen Wages”. ….ruling, Pac 9 owes its’ drivers for unlawful deductions, liquidated damages, reimbursable expenses, pay for meal and rest periods, and interest and waiting time penalties.

Two things here that directly related to 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  reauthorization bill’s Section 611; “meal and rest breaks”

I will guarantee you that “rest time” expense is nearly nothing to the hundreds of thousands of dollars that they “stole” from the drivers.
Re: The other issues. “waiting time!” Wow this is something that we are just getting some traction on. You think this has something to do with “only piece work pay” in Denham.
The ATA and TCA are very aware that this “misclassification of employment” is about to become a tsunami in trucking. Many lease, lease purchase, independent employee schemes are about to explode! July 2015, the new interpretation of “independent” became law and many of these employers will fall into the same legal determination as PAC 9!

Think for a moment why does Denham provide for exemptions for previous periods of time in addition to present and future regarding labor laws for “theft of wages?” Kind of curious that every new law that I ever knew became effective upon implementation on the days it was passed and forward. Now before you begin to blame this all on Calif.. This misclassification of employment was one the major issues in the “Trucker Wars” in the 1960s! I was there! Fact: late 60s the Pittsburgh Federal District Court (equal to 9th Circuit) agreed with truck drivers/owner operators, “that because of the control exercised by the carriers, O/O where “defacto employees”.
Point here is, these carriers today knew they were skating on thin ice every day they worked this “independent contractor scheme” Any CPA will tell you this is not a wise choice, because if it backfires, it could put you out business. But these carriers, because they got away with it for so long thought they would never get caught. Don’t blame Calif. Or FMSCA,

I am telling you this “break time” issue is just a smoke screen. Google it. FedEx has already surrendered and has paid FedEx Ground “independent contractors “ about $250 million dollars in just one case, and they have similar class action cases in many other states that they are sure to lose because they “surrendered” in Calf after the Supreme Court sided with the 9th Circuit.

Remember, this was already decided in the 1960s when the Supreme Court decided against the carriers, the only chance they stand to avoid MILLIONS/BILLIONS of dollars for “theft of wages” is to change/introduce a law. Also, remember, these “theft of wages” for the drivers do not include all the penalties and interest, etc. for nonpayment of SS, unemployment taxes, workers’ comp and who knows what else they have avoided over the decades. For FedEx alone this easily gets into the billions of dollars. Every fact that I have presented here can be documented and the ATA and TCA come media shows wanting to talk about the problems with REST BREAKS!

Don’t be deceived people, this has very very little to do with rest breaks that are similar to rest breaks that I experienced in 1966!

Call your reps Speak Up!

Speak up and let your voice be heard 202-224-3121

CALL YOUR CONGRESSMEN, Especially your Senators because the ATA, TCA, and FedEX wealth have been able to now move this out of the House and into the SENATE

Also big money supporting Denham wording may become exempted from any and all labor rights you are privileged to in your own state, such as but not limited, workers comp, unemployment, etc. This would vary with every state. In the opinion of labor attorneys this could be a “violation of States rights” there is precedent here. The CDL. When conceptualized, we were going to have a Federal Commercial Drivers License. That did not happen because of STATES RIGHTS. That is why you have CDLs administered by individual states meeting the minimum requirements of the Federal Gvt.

This whole Denham idea was contrived quickly and not well thought out to save the butts of wealthy sociopaths.

Taking away our labor rights in our individual states actually throws the workers under 395 CFR into a black hole!!! This is an act of influential robber barons to seize a whole classification of Americas’ work force. This will be a first in the history of our country! We will become the first Federalized workers in history! And we know who will be in control- The ATA, TCA!!!!!! AND no-one has any idea what that would look like regarding driver working conditions, pay, worker comp, unemployment, etc.


Call the Washington Switchboard 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. 611 would worsen already low wages for Truck Drivers and destroys any hope to be paid for all time.

IF this idea was so good why did ATA twice now try sneak in into effect!!!!

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By: Jerry Fritts

Jerry Fritts is a third generation owner/operator with over 40 years of freight experience and over four million miles of safe driving. He has hauled general commodities, fragile, high value, hazardous materials (including explosives), and classified cargo throughout the United States and Canada; including - The Yukon Territories and Alaska. He's earned numerous other recognitions for claims free service, safety, customer service, revenue production, and professional attitude.Jerry has been published in op-ed article of Transport Topics August 15, 2011, “No Longer A Penny Business”, concerning more effective carrier / supply chain communications for a different perspective in understanding carrier operating costs. Jerry has the distinct honor of being one of the first to receive the Citizen Driver Award initiated by TravelCenters of America in 2014. The Jerry Fritts West Memphis Stopping Center has been named in his honor of this award.

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4 Responses to Truth behind trucker wage theft and FAA bill Section 611. - Post a Comment

  1. […] Truth About Trucking Network says NO to the Denham Amendment Truth behind trucker wage theft and FAA bill Section 611 Is the ATA the voice for truck drivers? The Denham Method. Will it Take Money Out of Your Pocket??? […]

  2. […] Truth About Trucking Network says NO to the Denham Amendment Truth behind trucker wage theft and FAA bill Section 611 Is the ATA the voice for truck drivers? The Denham Method. Will it Take Money Out of Your Pocket??? […]

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