Teamsters back proposed regs for port drivers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Teamsters are standing behind two bills introduced this week in the United States designed to make jobs safer and more equitable for drivers working in major U.S. Ports.

The bills, called the Clean Ports Act of 2017 and the Port Drivers’ Bill of Rights, are being introduced by representatives Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.) and Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.)  after a USA Today report in June found clean air regulations banning older model vehicles for drivers working in ports were creating an environment of indentured servitude for drivers.

Drivers were being forced to sign what the bills call exploitive truck lease or rental agreements.

“For years, port truck drivers across the country have been forced to work long hours, often exceeding maximum hours of service set by the U.S. to keep America safe, in order to pay the company to lease and maintain their truck,” said Fred Potter, Teamsters vice president-at-large, and director of the Teamsters’ port division.

The group also says trucks are often forced to idle for hours at a time while waiting in line at marine terminals, driving up emissions. The revised regulations will make conditions better for workers while also taking steps to address environmental concerns.

The Teamsters say the new measures take steps to address the broken system that exists in port trucking and empower local ports to reduce pollution, mitigate traffic congestion, heighten highway safety and improve efficiency.

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