Teamsters President Battling Mexican Trucks Program
Not surprisingly, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters is voicing strong opposition to the Bush administration's pilot program opening the U.S. southern border to Mexican trucking firms next month. Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa called the plan "Russian roulette on America's highways" when it was announced in February and testified against it March 8 to a U.S. Senate subcommittee.
Videos, statements, news releases, and other documents on www.teamsters.org testify to the union's concern about this added competition. Hoffa and IBT say few entering Mexican trucks will be inspected, and there is no way to confirm how many hours a driver coming in from Mexican has been behind the wheel -- as opposed to the situation with federally enforced hours of service rules in effect in the United States.
The union hired a journalist last year to visit Mexico and report on drivers' work conditions. That reporter found conditions were no better than he'd found during a 1999 visit, according to the union, which has 1.4 million members including 200,000 who work for UPS.