(WASHINGTON) – The following is a statement from Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa in response to a provision included in new Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization legislation that would curb states’ ability to require mandatory meal and rest breaks for truck drivers.
“The Teamsters raised the warning flag late last year when some in Congress tried to include language in a long-term transportation funding bill that would have overridden the decision of 22 states to require truckers to take meal and rest breaks. 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. 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.”
“Some things are more important than corporate profits. Already, nearly 4,000 lives are claimed each year on U.S. highways in accidents involving tractor trailers. Elected officials must not allow that to go any higher. The Teamsters and our allies beat back efforts to jeopardize roadway safety last year, and we will not allow this misguided effort to take flight either.”
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.