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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk FORD's Avatar
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    10.22.17 @ 08:55 PM
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    Teamsters to Try to Block Mexican Trucks

    Teamsters to Try to Block Mexican Trucks
    By JESSE J. HOLLAND 08.29.07, 7:55 PM ET

    WASHINGTON -

    The Teamsters Union said Wednesday it will ask a federal appeals court to block the Bush administration's plan to allow Mexican trucks to carry cargo anywhere in the United States.

    The union said it has been told by officials in the Transportation Department's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that the first Mexican trucks will be coming across the border on Saturday.

    Teamsters leaders said they planned to seek an emergency injunction Wednesday from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

    "What a slap in the face to American workers, opening the highways to dangerous trucks on Labor Day weekend, one of the busiest driving weekends of the year," said Teamsters President Jim Hoffa.

    Joining the Teamsters in seeking the emergency stay were the Sierra Club and Public Citizen. "Before providing unconditional access throughout the country to tens of thousands of big rigs we know little to nothing about, we must insure they meet safety and environmental standards," Sierra Club executive director Carl Pope said.

    The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, in a statement, said: "we believe this lawsuit is without merit and that our program will benefit consumers by reducing the costly practice of requiring all cross-border shipments to be hauled by three separate trucks operated by three different drivers and provide U.S. trucking companies the opportunity to expand their business into our nation's third largest trading partner."

    The Bush administration said last week it would start the cross-border program once the Transportation Department's inspector general certifies safety and inspection plans.

    Leslie Miller, a Teamsters spokeswoman, said attorneys for the federal truck safety agency advised the union's lawyers that they expect to get that certification on Friday. She said the Teamsters also were told by the agency attorneys that limited authority for trucks to begin crossing the border will be approved Saturday.

    The Teamsters got a powerful labor ally in its protest.

    AFL-CIO president John Sweeney said in a news conference "the real issue there is the situation of safety and how this involves the delivery of food or product of Mexico to United States and vice versa.

    "It's an ongoing dispute and we don't think the Mexican government is enforcing their laws in that situation," said Sweeney in support of the Teamsters, who left the AFL-CIO to join a rival labor federation in 2005. "I think the Teamsters are taking the lead in this situation and rightly so deserve support."

    Supporters of the plan say letting more Mexican trucks on U.S. highways will save American consumers hundreds of millions of dollars.

    Labor and driver-owner groups have been fighting the measure - part of the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement - since it was first proposed, saying the program will erode highway safety and eliminate U.S. jobs.

    A one-year demonstration project would allow 100 Mexican motor carriers full access to U.S. roads. It can begin as soon as the inspector general certifies that safety and inspection plans and facilities are sufficient to ensure the Mexican trucks are as safe as U.S. trucks.

    Since 1982, Mexican trucks have had to stop within a buffer border zone and transfer their loads to U.S. trucks.



    Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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  2. #2
    Atomic Punk FORD's Avatar
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    Redrockinmonkeyboy, or anyone else connected to trucking and/or the Teamsters, how do you feel about this shit?
    Eat Us And Smile

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  3. #3
    Good Enough KRAMER5150's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FORD View Post
    Since 1982, Mexican trucks have had to stop within a buffer border zone and transfer their loads to U.S. trucks.
    this is how it should be!!!
    I used to wonder why he was grinning all the time(Michael Ian Black talkin about EVH on VH1 I love the 80's) but then i realized the reason he's grinning is because he's Eddie F*#king Van Halen

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    *Trucks that have been deemed unsafe for American roads have been sold to Mexican companies... These same trucks that American Trucking Companies were forced to take out-of-service, will now be legally driven by Mexicans on our roads...

    GLENN BECK Transcript

    Anyway, last week, the Bush administration announced a plan to allow 100 Mexican trucking companies to haul freight deeper into the United States than ever before. Right now, trucks from America and Mexico are allowed only 20 miles in to each other`s country to deliver cargo.

    This "pilot project" that will never go away will met Mexican truck companies travel throughout the entire United States without any restriction. The real story is, this is one more unacceptable step towards this great country becoming something more like MexAmeriCanada, and we`ve got to stop the insanity.

    This is an unofficial offshoot of the NAFTA superhighway plan, a proposal that would build a highway that is four football fields wide and will stretch all the way from Mexico, cutting right through the heartland of America, to Canada.

    See, the advocates of this kind of "progress" are always yammering on about free trade, but the facts don`t back them up. Just like the original NAFTA sent over 600,000 U.S. jobs south of the border and Mexico is now even starting to feel the NAFTA sting, this plan to allow Mexican trucks throughout the U.S. will only hurt American trucking, the industry that helped build this country into the economic giant that it is.

    Allowing lower-waged, lower-standard Mexican drivers to compete in the U.S. market with regulated American truck drivers is the very definition of unfair trade. International corporations win, while the working man here in America loses.

    As I said a minute ago, I`m a conservative, but I think I found a way to even convince Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio that this is a bad idea. Al and Leo, hear me out here. While you`re carpooling in your Prius and stuck in all the new traffic that this moronic plan would create, roll down your window, and take a deep breath, and think about this.

    One study predicts that Mexican trucks would add 50 tons per day of smog-forming emissions into the air, more than all the pollution generated by the 350 biggest industrial sources combined.

    I don`t know about you, but I`m sick and tired of diluting our sovereignty. I am sick of politicians telling us half-truths, untruths, and everything but the truth. North America is not one country, but three of them, and I like it that way. I love Mexican food, and Canada usually shuts the yap and minds their own business.

    You make good neighbors, really, you do, Canada.

    Maybe the European Union is comfortable with giving up their individual identities in favor of cultural and economic homogenization, but not here, not in America. The economic, environmental, national security impact of this idiotic proposal is far too great to ignore, but that`s what we`ll do.

    We certainly don`t need to give more people more ways in and out of our country. We can`t even patrol the ones we have now. Like it or not, in the post-9/11 world, our protection must take precedent over big business and, dare I say, big cats.

    Here now is James P. Hoffa, president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Jim, you said that this plan is playing a game of Russian roulette on America highways. What do you mean by that?

    JAMES P. HOFFA, GENERAL PRESIDENT, TEAMSTERS UNION: Well, absolutely. We`re turning unsafe trucks, unsafe truck drivers from Mexico, opening up our borders when there`s no showing that they are safe or that these drivers have the necessary training.

    Congress said a while back, just a couple of years ago, that there shall be no cross-border trucking until they meet our standards. They haven`t met our standards. And does anybody believe what the Bush administration is saying about that they`re going to inspect thousands of trucks?

    BECK: No.

    HOFFA: Well, I`ve been to the border. No one is inspecting anything, and they`re basically going to turn these people loose. I`ve got another one. The American driving public is really the guinea pig for this very dangerous experiment.

    BECK: OK. So, please, I continue to ask this question, and it always is answered the same way. It`s one of two ways, either money or I don`t know, but as I`m looking at this, I just started jotting down on the side of this story just reasons why it`s a bad idea: bad for our air quality; bad for the safety on our roads; bad for homeland security; bad for border security; bad for drugs; bad for American jobs.

    So why the hell are our politicians doing it?


    HOFFA: Well, there`s a groupthink here in Washington about the border and about NAFTA, which I`m fighting and you`re fighting, and we`re saying, you know, we are sovereign countries. We should protect our highways.

    And what`s happening is, there`s this groupthink that we`ve got to open these borders. And they`re along with the other people, which are really the money people, the big corporations, that have moved across the Rio Grande, the GMs, the Sonys, and General Electrics, you know, hundreds and hundreds of major corporations that want cheap trucking.

    They don`t give a damn about the safety of our highways, and they want to unleash these trucks coming across the border so they can save a few bucks, and they can put it in their pocket for their CEOs. That`s what it`s all about. You know, it`s the old story, Glenn: When you can`t figure it out, it`s about money.


    BECK: OK. Tell me if this is true, because it sure rings true to me: $25 is what a Mexican truck driver is paid currently to take a load across the border. Why do we think that some drug lord wouldn`t say to somebody who`s making $25 per delivery, why wouldn`t we believe that somebody would come to them and say, "Hey, $10,000, just get this across the border"?

    HOFFA: Well, I think this happened already. I know of incidents like that. I`ve got one better for you. You just think about, you know, the fact that these -- we don`t know who these people are. You know, the Mexican government -- you know, NAFTA has been law since, what, 1992, 1993. They have had all this time to modernize their system to make it like the United States.

    To this day, they still don`t have a computer system that basically tracks truck drivers, just like they track you and me and our cars. You know, I have a record. You have a record. If I get a speeding ticket, it`s somewhere in a computer. They don`t even have that.

    So when these people come across the border, you`re right. We don`t know who they are. We don`t know if they`re really the people they say they are. We all know that you can buy fake I.D. anywhere in Mexico or San Diego or...


    BECK: New York.

    HOFFA: Or New York, and so who are these people? They`re not in a computer, so how do we know who they are?

    BECK: OK, so, Jim, quick. I`ve got about 20 seconds. What is it that the guy who`s currently screaming, you know, at their television, sitting on their couch, what is it we can do? We`re tired of hearing this with nothing to do.

    HOFFA: Well, you know, the Teamsters are leading the fight. A number of politicians, Patty Murray, a number of people are going to have hearings. We`re going to speak out about the emissions. We`re going to speak about highway safety. And we`re going to call attention to this.

    The answer is, you know, it`s the old story. If we don`t stand up and speak out, write your congressman. Let`s do something to try and turn this around.


    BECK: All right, Jim, thanks.

    HOFFA: Thank you.
    BECK: That`s "The Real Story" tonight. We`ll be back in just a minute.
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  5. #5
    Atomic Punk
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    SPECIAL REPORT: Some say border to open to Mexican trucks Saturday

    Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2007 – The cross-border program with Mexico is apparently starting sooner rather than later.


    According to media reports, officials within the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration told members of the Teamsters union the border would open Saturday, Sept. 1.

    Requests from Land Line for confirmation on the Teamster’s claim remained unanswered Wednesday afternoon by FMCSA.

    The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association expressed outrage in response to learning the U.S. Department of Transportation plans to begin allowing Mexican trucks to bring cargo into the United States, against the will of the public and their nationally elected representatives.

    “We are stunned at the contempt of the Administration toward the rule of law,” said Todd Spencer, executive vice president of OOIDA. “And it’s also a slap in the face of every American, hard-working trucker.

    “They are determined to open our highways to Mexico-domiciled trucking companies and truck drivers regardless of the concerns that have been raised by Congress and the American people.”

    OOIDA as well as several other groups are preparing to file lawsuits seeking an injunction of the cross-border program that would force compliance with congressional mandates by the Department of Transportation.

    The move by the DOT and FMCSA to open the border could be considered brazen by some, given the fact that the Office of Inspector General recently released a follow-up audit that still did not sign off on some of the prerequisites to opening the border.

    The audits are required to be filed with Congress – which has not been in session since the release of the follow-up audit.

    “This move by the DOT to open the border shows contempt for the American people, contempt for congressional mandates and contempt for the law,” Spencer said.

    While the follow-up audit only tackled compliance with eight provisions in Section 350, another more comprehensive audit is already under way at the OIG’s office.

    That audit will review compliance with 22 more provisions of Section 350 as required by Section 6901 of the U. S. Troop Readiness, Veterans’ Care, Katrina Recovery and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act of 2007.

    Even though the OIG’s office has launched its review of the proposed cross-border program and its compliance with Section 350, the audit obviously has not been completed.

    Earlier in August when press reports emerged in Mexico that Mexican officials were preparing for the border to open at the end of the month, Melissa DeLaney, DOT spokeswoman, recited the familiar line for Land Line on Aug. 16 that nothing could happen without the Inspector General’s go-ahead. She said she was not aware of any preliminary report on the status of the pilot program.

    “The IG is an independent entity. We don’t have a hand in the process of them doing this report,” she said. “We are complying with the law and the law clearly states this program cannot start until that process has been done.”

    – By Jami Jones, senior editor
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  6. #6
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    Default Is this an issue with Canadian trucks?

    is this a Mexico issue only? Are Canadian trucks allowed into the US and vice versa?

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    You might have noticed that Mexican trucks have been in the news lately. Who wins and who loses when Mexican trucks are allowed to carry cargo into the United States?

    You can find the entire story at the New York Times (free registration required).


    The New York Times reports that a NAFTA dispute resolution panel has ruled that NAFTA requires the U.S. to let Mexican trucks into the United States. President Bush has said that the U.S. will comply with the ruling. Mexican trucks have been excluded from freely traveling throughout the U.S. since 1995 when President Clinton decided to keep them out on safety grounds.

    According to the Times, "Union officials voice fears that Mexican truckers, who often earn one-fourth as much as unionized American truckers, will take American jobs. And consumer groups, noting that 41 percent of Mexican trucks failed American inspections at the border, argue that the trucks will endanger Americans."

    From this press account and others, you would think that the key issue at stake here is the right of the Mexican truckers to get access to the lucrative U.S. market vs. the right of Americans to use their highway system free from careening, brake-less Mexican trucks that could explode at any minute. And the result will be lost American jobs and gains by the Mexicans.

    There's someone missing from this picture. We have the Mexican truckers. We have the U.S. truckers who have to compete with the lower-wage Mexicans. And we have the Americans who are concerned about safety. We have the seen. But some of the participants are unseen.

    Let's look at the economics. Under the 1995 order issued by President Clinton, Mexican trucks were allowed to cross the border but had to stay within designated commercial zones. These zones were within 20 miles north of the border. After that, the Mexican trucks had to transfer their goods to American trucking firms. (You might wonder how you enforce a law like that, but more on that later. For now, let's assume that the Mexicans complied with the law.) So up until now, Mexican goods had to make their way across America on American trucks. Now, Mexican trucks can continue to St. Louis and San Francisco and Houston with their Mexican-produced goods. What are the effects of this change?

    A whole series of changes occur. If Mexican truck drivers are cheaper, then



    Transportation prices go down. Resulting in:



    Lower prices for imports from Mexico.


    Lower prices for goods manufactured in America that use parts made in Mexico, delivered by truck.


    So American consumers have a stake in the dispute. These lower prices for goods imported from Mexico and goods manufactured in America using Mexican parts delivered by truck also affect American and Mexican workers. There will be:

    *An increase in demand for workers in Mexico and an increase in demand for Mexican truck drivers.

    *A decrease in demand for American truck drivers.

    *And an increase in demand for U.S. workers in American factories that make products using imported Mexican products as supplies.

    Allowing Mexican trucks more freedom means more jobs for Mexican truck drivers and fewer jobs for American truck drivers. More jobs for Mexican and American factory workers. Consumers in America benefit and workers in Mexico benefit. Some American workers (the truck drivers) are worse off and some (the factory workers) are better off. So the real struggle here is between American truck drivers who will be hurt vs. American workers and consumers and Mexican workers who benefit.

    The skinny on safety - Everything you hear about Mexican truck safety is taken from two Department of Transportation (DOT) studies done in 1998 and 1999. The first one, the riveting "Motor Carrier Safety Program For Commercial Trucks at U.S. Borders" looks at inspections at the border. In 1997, roughly 3.5 million trucks entered the U.S from Mexico. Of those, roughly 17,000 were inspected. "Of those Mexican trucks inspected, about 44 percent were placed out of service (percentage of trucks removed from service because of serious safety violations.) This contrasts with a 25 percent out-of-service rate for U.S. trucks and a 17 percent out-of-service rate for Canadian trucks."

    So far, pretty scary. I'd like to know how serious those violations were, but 44% seems like a high number. Making me feel a lot more comfortable is the 3.49 million trucks that weren't inspected. I presume that the 17,000+ that were inspected were the most ragged looking of the lot. So 44% is probably a terribly inaccurate measure of how dangerous the average truck is.

    Some more interesting info can be found in the page-turner, "Mexico-Domiciled Motor Carriers," another, DOT study. It reports in passing on the 1998 border inspections and notes: "Of the 23,300 Mexican commercial vehicles inspected at the border, 41 percent failed to meet U.S. safety requirements and were placed out of service for serious safety violations."

    AHA! 41%. So that's probably where the 41% number quoted by the New York Times comes from. As in 1997, this is only a miniscule fraction of all trucks crossing the border. So it probably means that the average rate of dangerousness among all Mexican trucks is dramatically lower.

    Of greater interest is the report's focus on Mexican truckers who violate the law and operate beyond the 20-mile area north of the border. The DOT distinguished between those that are beyond the 20-mile border but still operating within one of the four border states of California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, vs. those who are roaming freely beyond those border states.

    Of the Mexican trucks stopped north of the border but within the four border states, 32% of the trucks were found to have serious safety violations and were taken out of service. But outside the border states, the rate fell to a mere 19%. This is lower than the U.S. failure rate of 25% found among trucks stopped within the U.S. for road-side inspections.

    So here's a summary of Mexican truck safety:

    Taken out of service at the border for inspection violations:
    41%

    Taken out of service beyond the border but within a border state for inspection violations:
    32%

    Taken out of service beyond the border states for inspection violations:
    19%

    Perhaps not surprisingly, the farther the trucks have to go, the safer they are. A nice confirmation of the hypothesis that even Mexican truck drivers like safety after all. And they pursue it rationally. Safety is more important on a long trip than a short one.

    The other interesting aspect of the study is that it highlights two examples where trucks had to be removed from service. I'm ready for "steering wheel fell off in inspectors hands." Or "brake pedal plunged through floor when pressure applied." But here are the two cases the report highlights in the executive summary:

    A Mexican truck on its way to Florida to deliver furniture was stopped in Louisiana. The driver was placed out of service. The safety inspection report reads as follows:

    *No record of duty status (no driver logbook)
    *No medical examiner's certificate
    *Failure to obtain required commercial driver's license
    *Allowing unqualified driver to operate vehicle
    *Unable to read or speak English sufficiently

    A Mexican bus with passengers aboard was enroute to Las Vegas from Tijuana, Mexico, on December 30th. Both the driver and the vehicle were placed out of service by the Nevada safety inspectors. The following are excerpts from the inspection report:

    *"Stopped in roadway for no legal reason"
    *Light problems, side lights blue, no license plate lamp, front lamps green
    *Left front shock absorber missing
    *No annual inspection
    *No DOT number displayed
    *Driver states "speak no English"
    *No driver logbook and no medical card

    What a letdown! If this is the worst they can report about the 19% of Mexican vehicles that were taken out of service, maybe the safety issue isn't as frightening as it appears.
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

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    ahh..

    Puke...!!! We need to arm the border and shoot on sight..The government sold out the little guy again..Greed and coruption...puke...
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    "Teamsters to Try to Block Mexican Trucks"

    How does that go along with the NAFTA project?

  10. #10
    Atomic Punk FORD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WinterlessIceness View Post
    "Teamsters to Try to Block Mexican Trucks"

    How does that go along with the NAFTA project?
    This whole fucked up thing is part of NAFTA. Basically, the corporatist pigs want to put Mexican truckers on American highways because they work cheap and don't give a flying fuck whether their rigs operate safely or not. Hence higher corporate profits at the expense of public safety.

    Kinda like everything else that's happened this decade.

    And before the "But Clinton" chorus chimes in, I hate him for pushing this shit through Congress just as much as I do Poppy Bush for creating it in the first place.
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    Default OK...TRUCKER'S VIEW

    The Mexican trucks are completely unsafe. The safe ones stay in Mexico. Hoffa and Beck are right; the trucks that the Mexican drivers will be driving are ones that were taken out of service due to age; NOT mechanical reasons. They are then sold dirt cheap to Mexican companies.

    If you look at the trucks, A LOT of them are a light metallic blue (old Werner), "Omaha" Orange (old Schneider National), and a yellowish/cream (old JB Hunt). Most of those trucks are taken out of service by these companies after 2-3 million miles. They are deemed safe to sell by FedDOT rules, which are fairly lax on resale, as opposed to new sale. I've driven for Schneider; they "castrate" the trucks to 63 miles per hour; then turn them up again upon resale. But they have run "reigned in" for a lot of miles; which wears down the parts. Werner and JB Hunt castrate them too.

    You have A LOT of breakdowns because the parts aren't used to the kind of speed and stress of using them to the manufacturers specs. Parts LITERALLY fall off the truck.

    One of voivod's articles showed the GLARING problem; other than shitty trucks. DOCUMENTATION!!!

    In order for me to get my CDL renewed in 2009, I'll have to submit $165 to get a complete background check, including having my fingerprints taken for analysis through the NCIC computer, FBI, TSA and DOT; just to ensure I'm not a felon, terrorist, etc.

    The rules, according to the same assholes ram-rodding this through; the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) states in the laws that ALL CDL drivers entering this country, including it's own citizen's, HAVE TO be able to read, write, converse AND reasonably understand the English language. They also must have a DOT medical card, only given by a DOT a authorized physician. Pass an ENGLISH ONLY CDL written test and English administered driving test.

    The Mexican government doesn't require their drivers to keep a log. They can run as many hours/day/week/month/year, etc. they want. With NO checks and balances. American and Canadian drivers running America are allowed up to 11 hours of driver time and can work no more than 14 hours combined of Driving and On Duty NOT Driving/day. And NO MORE than 70 hours a week.

    As for the question of Canadian trucks' safety. They are bound by the same standards as US trucks. The US and Canadian DOT's participate in what's called the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Administration, (CMVSA). Each year in June, they do a 72 hour safety blitz to catch trucks & drivers that aren't compliant. The Mexican DOT doesn't participate in this. But their drivers are CONSTANTLY getting caught in the border states, and shutdown at an alarming rate. Also keep in mind; the drivers and equipment profiled in voivod's article are just two that got stopped/caught; and is in no way a true representation of what is ACTUALLY getting stopped. Go to Laredo, TX sometime and look at the condition of the trucks they are sending here. You will be shocked and appalled.

    Also, look at the AMERICAN trucking companies that are behind this. You'll find out that they are the ones that pay the lowest per mile pay to it's drivers. they are also THE LARGEST companies. Schneider, SWIFT, Werner, JB Hunt and Dart Transportation. They already have operations set up in Mexico ready for this to take place. Do a little research and you will be shocked. You will also find that they are ALL major contributors to the GOP, who have allowed the wholesale raping and destruction of American jobs and the American workforce all in favor of cheaper labor and higher cost because after they moved manufacturing jobs out of America, it cost MORE to ship it back in than it would to ship it from an American based operation.

    On this one, I have to take a "FORD stance" and say that the BCE did this. Clinton was forced to push Bush NAFTA fiasco through, so he could get his police program money and tax raises on the top 2% of the country.
    Last edited by RRMB; 08.30.07 at 04:08 PM.
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    Thanks for the trucker's viewpoint. Excellent post. Hope you don't mind if I add it to the discussion on this topic over at the Army (since the trucker over there seemed to miss the thread)
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    Quote Originally Posted by FORD View Post
    Thanks for the trucker's viewpoint. Excellent post. Hope you don't mind if I add it to the discussion on this topic over at the Army (since the trucker over there seemed to miss the thread)
    Just as long as you back me when the RothTards starting discrediting me due to the name. LOL
    "Jesus, that fucker just crawled out of his hen house that was destroyed by the Alabama tornados. Fucking 280mph plus winds sucked the gleam off this bitch and passed it on to a bird in Rhoad Island." - Hurricane Halen 5/3/11 (about my birthday chicken from seenbad)

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    This is pathetic. Not only is it unsafe but unfair to just the average US citizen. If I understand this correctly, we'll basically have worn out possible high polluting vehicles on the same roads with the average citizen who has to bend over backwards to just meet emissions. Once again our government sells out the American public for corporate profits.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Limecuda View Post
    This is pathetic. Not only is it unsafe but unfair to just the average US citizen. If I understand this correctly, we'll basically have worn out possible high polluting vehicles on the same roads with the average citizen who has to bend over backwards to just meet emissions. Once again our government sells out the American public for corporate profits.
    AND! It's a slap to the face of all of us that the first official date for this to go into effect, is on Labor Day...

    Labor Day is a United States federal holiday that takes place on the first Monday in September. The holiday began in 1882, originating from a desire by the Central Labor Union to create a day off for the "working man". It is still celebrated mainly as a day of rest and marks the symbolic end of summer for many. Labor Day became a national holiday by Act of Congress in 1894.

    ========================

    NAFTA Trucking Safety Act Introduced
    “Our nation’s roadways and motorists must be protected from potentially dangerous and unsafe vehicle traffic.


    Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA) introduced legislation clarifying and strengthening current limitations imposed on Mexican motor carriers entering the United States. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Trucking Safety Act specifically prohibits Mexican trucks from entering the United States beyond commercial zones along the U.S.-Mexico border without meeting specific safety and security conditions.

    “There are considerable safety and security risks involved with providing Mexican truckers complete and unrestricted access to American roadways,” said Congressman Hunter. “It is important that these issues are thoroughly addressed before Mexican motor carriers are permitted to freely operate beyond established commercial zones along the Southern land border.

    “Our nation’s roadways and motorists must be protected from potentially dangerous and unsafe vehicle traffic. The NAFTA Trucking Safety Act rightfully applies to Mexican truckers the same rules and regulations applied to American truckers, preventing unqualified and inexperienced motor carriers from traveling the highways and roads within our communities. If Mexican truckers cannot meet these requirements, then they should not be granted access into the United States.

    “By submitting Mexican truckers to the same background checks and inspection requirements as their American counterparts, this legislation also includes a very important security element. Unrestricted cross-border trucking presents potential terrorists, drug smugglers and other criminals the opportunity to quietly enter the United States with unidentified cargo and contraband. This is unacceptable in today’s security environment and further underscores the safety and security risks involved with providing cross-border truckers direct access to our roadways.”

    Under NAFTA (P.L. 103-182), American roadways and communities were scheduled to be opened to cross-border trucking competition on January 1, 2000. Largely due to Congressional opposition, however, the Clinton Administration did not grant Mexican motor carriers unrestricted access to U.S. roadways and subsequently established commercial zones just along the international border for cross-border trucking activities. While legislation was later enacted in 2001 (P.L. 107-87) requiring several safety conditions be satisfied before opening the border to Mexican trucks, the Department of Transportation has since announced that compliance standards have been met and implementation is presently underway.

    Specifically, the NAFTA Trucking Safety Act requires that no Mexican motor carrier be granted authority to operate in the United States beyond commercial zones until:

    · The Secretary of Transportation: publishes in the Federal Register a list of all Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and how Mexican carriers, trucks and drivers will be required to comply; a list of the enforcement tools and conditions required by law that will be made available to federal and state motor carrier safety enforcement personnel; and implements a plan in partnership with the Secretary of Homeland Security to monitor and enforce immigration and customs regulations;

    · Law enforcement personnel have the ability to access driver, criminal and security databases to verify a cross-border drivers’ identification, driving record, criminal history and risk to homeland security;

    · The Department of Transportation’s Office of the Inspector General has independently verified compliance with each condition in Section 350 of P.L. 107-87 and submitted a report to Congress detailing compliance.

    · The Secretary of Transportation has submitted to Congress a plan to enforce English language proficiency as already required.


    The NAFTA Trucking Safety Act has been referred to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the House Committee on Homeland Security.

    Report Source:
    http://www.house.gov/apps/list/speec...uck_bill.shtml
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