Forced Unionization: One Goal of Labor-Environmentalist Alliance

By August 31, 2009Economy, Regulations

From The Los Angeles Times, “Port of L.A. is urged to stop lobbying over clean-trucks program,” with the sub-headline: “The port wants permission to regulate truckers as part of its effort to reduce air pollution. Trade groups object, saying that would make it easier for unions to organize the drivers.”

The port has already tried to rig the regulatory rules and now wants to rewrite federal law under the guise of clean-air activism to force independent truckers into large companies or concessions, which are either already unionized or could be pressured into unionizing. As we’ve noted before, it’s an alliance of environmentalists and labor out to ruin small businesses.

The article reports on the American Trucking Associations (ATA) and other trade groups writing the port to register their objections: “We strongly oppose the efforts of the port to support changing long-standing federal law . . . to include a provision within the Clean Truck Plan that has nothing to do with reducing truck emissions.”

The ATA has so far won arguments in court to block the Port’s “concession plans,” i.e. rules for the doing business with the port, which included a ban on independent truckers. The Port of Los Angeles’ plan illegally sought to regulate interstate commerce, a U.S. District Court judge ruled in April.

The Journal of Commerce also covers the story with the additional angle of the Port of Long Beach distancing itself from other other ports’ federal lobbying. From “Port of Long Beach Won’t Join Trucking Regulatory Bid.”

Join the discussion One Comment

  • jason says:

    I am an owner-operator trucker so this deeply concerns me what the Teamsters along with their coalition partners are doing to us. I think this war they have waged against the O/O trucker is disgraceful. Most of us have spent years working the ports paying for what trucks we own only to learn this green labor coalition organization hiding behind the guise of so-called clean air is really trying to destroy our individual American right to ownership of a small business.

    At first the Teamsters came into the ports claiming they were there to help us win a contract as an O/O trucker to stabilize the rates in the harbor. This plan sounded good to the majority of truckers attending these meetings the Teamsters held. They talked of hiring halls and other ways the O/O trucker could legally join the union and negotiate a collective bargaining agreement with the companies. They claimed they had union O/O truckers in Alaska operating out of the ports and in flatbed, van,car haul working as employee-lease/operators. Under that very same union system we could then be able to afford to purchase new equipment every few years knowing we had stable negotiated trucking rates we could depend on while enjoying a salary with benefits for our families. All of the companies we worked for at first totally resisted this idea but later several saw this as maybe a positive step because it would stabilize the rate structure between carriers if all the truckers were under a contract eliminating the bottom feeding companies that continued to operate under the radar continually cutting the others corporate profits. It would also stop the angry wildcat strikes by truckers at several of the major ports that continued to take place for past years without notice interrupting ocean cargo.

    What we were promised by the Teamsters union has now turned out to be nothing but lies, not only to us as O/O truckers, but to all of the 100% O/O motor carriers they talked with that are now being told they will have to purchase company trucks to stay in business. I think this is absolutely disgusting what this union backed green coalition has done to us. I will not give up my ownership rights to become a company driver after thirty years in the business. The drivers I talk with plan to do everything we can to stop this foolish plan they have if that means we join forces with the American Trucking Association to save our trucks. As a United States citizen I find it appalling for any group to ask Congress to change the FAA/transportation laws allowing the port authorities to make any decision on matters that strip away our right to ownership of any business in America. This LA Clean Truck Plan from the beginning was never about cleaning the air but was to be used by the Teamsters to pressure port terminal operators nationwide to pass their labor backed employee mandate banning the O/O trucker from ever hauling intermodal cargo again.

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