GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. -- The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) has condemned the International Brotherhood of Teamsters’ recent decision to support the US Senate’s proposed bill that would mandate electronic on-board recorders (EOBRs) for heavy trucks.
OOIDA says it views support of EOBRs by organized labour as a change of heart driven by their desire to ban owner/operators and replace them with employee drivers who can be organized.
“(S)upport coming from the Teamsters, who filed comments to the government in 2007 opposing EOBRs, proves that this is more about attacking independent contractors and small businesses than safety,” said OOIDA executive vice-president Todd Spencer. “It could open up a huge Pandora’s box with the IRS on misclassification of colossal proportions.”
OOIDA also says that another proponent of EOBRs, the American Trucking Associations (ATA), is disingenuous about using research for arguments supporting a mandate.
“Considering that none of the research has changed on EOBRs and the ATA has attacked that very same research to oppose the new Hours-of-Service regulations, it leads us to believe this is more about trying to squeeze more driving hours or ‘productivity’ out of drivers, maximizing every second of the 70-hour work week, regardless of safety,” said Spencer.
OOIDA officials further noted that the current EOBR rulemaking has been estimated by the Obama administration to cost the industry $2 billion, as one of the seven most expensive regulations pursued by the administration.
“EOBRs are no more reliable than paper logbooks for tracking Hours-of-Service and are actually a possible danger to our highways. We hear every day from truckers whose companies use the devices to harass drivers into driving more hours. Anyone who claims there is a connection to safety either doesn’t know, or is counting on others not knowing, and is actually selling no more than an overpriced record keeper,” Spencer said.