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Teamsters applaud unveiling of new House transportation legislation

(Source: International Brotherhood of Teamsters press release, June 3, 2020)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Teamsters are lauding the release of a new House transportation measure today, saying the bill is a win for workers and will enhance roadway safety. It will not only make nearly $500 billion available for road, transit and rail needs, but will also roll back new rules that placed the lives of transportation workers and the traveling public at risk.

The INVEST in America Act would suspend changes made to the hours of service (HOS) rules that increase the amount of time truckers could be on the road without a rest break. Additionally, it would make massive investments in our nation’s roadways; make railroad worker safety a priority along with massive investments in Amtrak; and combat predatory leasing practices that victimize drivers at our nation’s ports and elsewhere.

“For too long, the needs of professional drivers and others who work in the transportation sector have been ignored by lawmakers,” Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa said. “This legislation will set the nation on the right path by making badly needed infrastructure improvements while also ensuring that workers are protected on the job.”

The Teamsters have been an outspoken opponent of HOS changes for years. The bill would require the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to conduct a comprehensive review of the impacts of current HOS rules, including exemptions, and prohibit expansions of on-duty time for commercial truck drivers proposed by the agency from taking effect until 60 days after the submission of the results of the review to Congress.

The legislation would also reduce traffic for drivers around big cities by providing $250 million in gridlock reduction grants; create a truck leasing task force to examine lease and lease-purchase agreements commonly made available to truck drivers and the impacts of these captive leases on driver pay; and make massive investments in motor carrier safety, including through grants to assist states in truck and bus safety oversight.

In all, the measure would spend $494 billion to upgrade our nation’s roadways, transit and railway facilities – including transportation workforce programs – which is the type of visionary approach to surface transportation authorization our nation needs. The Teamsters look forward to continuing to work with the House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) and the entire committee on the inclusion of other Teamster priorities as this process continues.

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.

Friday, June 5, 2020

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