Teamsters Work to Keep Mexican Trucks Off US Highways

August 29, 2007

The Feds are poised to open America's highways to Mexican trucks this weekend. The Transportation Department's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said the first Mexican trucks are scheduled to cross our southern border on Saturday, September 1.

"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. The Teamsters has asked the Ninth Circuit US Court of Appeals in San Francisco to issue an emergency injunction halting the controversial cross-border trucking program. The one-year pilot program will allow 100 Mexican trucking companies full access to US highways. Since 1982 Mexican trucks have had to stop at the border to transfer loads to US trucks.

The Sierra Club quickly jumped on the Teamster bandwagon. "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," said Sierra Club executive director Carl Pope.

While the Bush administration has said that the cross-border program would not start without safety certification, which is expected Friday, truckers remain unconvinced that safety requirements will be applied equally to Mexican trucks and drivers. Safety, environmental impact and, let's face it, unfair competition and job elimination are at the crux of the disagreement between truck drivers and the Feds. American drivers and trucks are required to meet stringent safety regulations. They're not convinced thatMexican drivers and trucks will be held to the same standards.

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