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Thread: Another reason to hate Wal-Mart... and politicians

  1. #1
    post hype sleeper cincinnati chili's Avatar
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    Another reason to hate Wal-Mart... and politicians

    http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/03/08/tru....ap/index.html

    Retailers want 16-hour trucker workday
    Critics: 'Sweatshop-on-wheels amendment'



    WASHINGTON (AP) -- Wal-Mart and other retailers are lobbying Congress to extend the workday for truckers to 16 hours, something labor unions and safety advocates say would make roadways more dangerous for all drivers.

    Rep. John Boozman, an Arkansas Republican whose district includes Wal-Mart's headquarters in Bentonville, is sponsoring a bill that would allow a 16-hour workday as long as the trucker took an unpaid two-hour break. The proposal is expected to be offered as an amendment during debate over the highway spending bill on Wednesday.

    "Truckers are pushing harder than ever to make their runs within the mandated timeframe," Boozman said. "Optional rest breaks will reduce driver layovers and improve both safety and efficiency."

    Current rules limit drivers' workdays to 14 hours, with only 11 consecutive hours of driving allowed, union leaders and safety advocates say. That gives truckers three hours to eat, rest or load and unload their trucks.

    Critics of the proposal accuse Wal-Mart of trying to fatten its profits by forcing truckers to spend more time waiting at the loading dock without getting paid.

    The International Brotherhood of Teamsters "hasn't gotten one complaint from drivers saying they don't have time for a break or a meal," the union's vice president, John Murphy, said at a news conference Tuesday.

    Joan Claybrook, president of the safety advocacy group Public Citizen, said drivers could end up starting their workday at 8 a.m. and quitting at midnight.

    "This is a sweatshop-on-wheels amendment," Claybrook said. "The last thing we need is for tired truckers to become even more fatigued and threaten the safety of those around them on the roads."

    The current rule had been struck down in federal court because it didn't take into account truck drivers' health. In October, Congress reinstated the rule for one year. If the Boozman proposal is adopted, it would retain the 16-hour workday regardless of any new rule.

    Nearly 5,000 people were killed in large truck crashes in 2003, and those vehicles were three times more likely to be involved in fatal crashes than passenger cars, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

    Wal-Mart spokesman Erik Winborn said the proposal has broad support among the trucking industry and other retailers.

    "We support it because we feel it would actually enhance safety rather than hurt safety," said Winborn, whose company employs about 7,000 truck drivers.

    Wal-Mart employees were Boozman's top contributors in 2003-04, giving him $48,152 for his re-election campaign, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Wal-Mart and its employees gave $44,500 to Boozman for his first successful bid for Congress in 2001-02, the last year corporations could give to congressional candidates.
    How, then, are those people of the future—who are taking steroids every day—going to look back on baseball players who used steroids? They're going to look back on them as pioneers. They're going to look back at it and say "So what?" - Bill James, Cooperstown and the 'Roids

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    SERP Emeritus paintmered's Avatar
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    Re: Another reason to hate Wal-Mart... and politicians

    I'll pay the additional penny the next time I need shampoo.
    What if this wasn't a rhetorical question?

    All models are wrong. Some of them are useful.

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    RZ Chamber of Commerce Unassisted's Avatar
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    Re: Another reason to hate Wal-Mart... and politicians

    If a Republican sponsored it and the Teamsters are for it, I think it's a good bet that the bill will pass.
    /r/reds

  5. #4
    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: Another reason to hate Wal-Mart... and politicians

    Horrible idea
    Go Gators!

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    Re: Another reason to hate Wal-Mart... and politicians

    I think I'll invest in Military transportation now...like, a tank. Gonna need one when that 18-wheeler comes barreling down on me.
    I hope it's never sunny in Philly again.

  7. #6
    Big Red Machine RedsBaron's Avatar
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    Re: Another reason to hate Wal-Mart... and politicians

    A really stupid idea. A really, really stupid idea. That doesn't mean it may not become law, unfortunately.
    "Hey...Dad. Wanna Have A Catch?" Kevin Costner in "Field Of Dreams."

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    For a Level Playing Field RedFanAlways1966's Avatar
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    Re: Another reason to hate Wal-Mart... and politicians

    Current rules limit drivers' workdays to 14 hours, with only 11 consecutive hours of driving allowed, union leaders and safety advocates say. That gives truckers three hours to eat, rest or load and unload their trucks.
    Don't know about you, but I've got a problem with the current rules. 11 consecutive hours of driving? Sounds like too much to me.

    A rule that I would like to see for these truck drivers (since safety is important), Wal Mart or not... each trucker is randomly drug tested.

    Nearly 5,000 people were killed in large truck crashes in 2003, and those vehicles were three times more likely to be involved in fatal crashes than passenger cars, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.
    And what was the breakdown of reason for the 5,000 deaths? I do not like it when someone publishes a stat like this, obviously to backup their argument, but leaves it so non-detailed. Am I to assume that all 5,000 deaths were relative to tired truck drivers? One might think that when reading this article.
    Small market fan... always hoping, but never expecting.

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    Member TeamCasey's Avatar
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    Re: Another reason to hate Wal-Mart... and politicians

    I imagine all 5000 happened in Kentucky on 71, on the day I drove to Cumberland.

    I think truckers take a stupid pill on the Kentucky stateline.
    Pots and Kettles

  10. #9
    CELEBRATION TIME RBA's Avatar
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    Re: Another reason to hate Wal-Mart... and politicians

    Quote Originally Posted by Unassisted
    If a Republican sponsored it and the Teamsters are for it, I think it's a good bet that the bill will pass.
    I don't see anywhere in the story that says the Teamsters are for it.

  11. #10
    Mod Law zombie-a-go-go's Avatar
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    Re: Another reason to hate Wal-Mart... and politicians

    Quote Originally Posted by BigRedHotPotato
    I don't see anywhere in the story that says the Teamsters are for it.
    They are, though. When I can't sleep at night I listen to a trucker's call-in radio show, and almost without exception everyone hates that 14-hr workday limitation.
    "It's easier to give up. I'm not a very vocal player. I lead by example. I take the attitude that I've got to go out and do it. Because of who I am, I've got to give everything I've got to come back."
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    Member Red Heeler's Avatar
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    Re: Another reason to hate Wal-Mart... and politicians

    Quote Originally Posted by RedFanAlways1966
    And what was the breakdown of reason for the 5,000 deaths? I do not like it when someone publishes a stat like this, obviously to backup their argument, but leaves it so non-detailed. Am I to assume that all 5,000 deaths were relative to tired truck drivers? One might think that when reading this article.
    I thought the same thing when I read that. There would be a baseline rate for automobile fatatities (i.e. 1 fatality/xxxx drivers). Obviously, the rate of fatalities for accidents involving a semi vs. a car will produce more fatalities than car vs. car...simple physics. Beyond that, you would have to show a greater incidence of accidents involving truckers who were toward the end of their shift vs. truckers who were closer to the beginning of their shift.

    The reason that truck drives want their day increased is that they get paid by the mile. More hours = more miles = more $$$$. I would rather that the FTC create a new system where the drivers were paid by the day or week. The guidelines would then set an appropriate number of miles for that time period.

  13. #12
    Member TeamCasey's Avatar
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    Re: Another reason to hate Wal-Mart... and politicians

    Quote Originally Posted by BigRedHotPotato
    I don't see anywhere in the story that says the Teamsters are for it.
    We aren't.
    Pots and Kettles

  14. #13
    RZ Chamber of Commerce Unassisted's Avatar
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    Re: Another reason to hate Wal-Mart... and politicians

    Quote Originally Posted by BigRedHotPotato
    I don't see anywhere in the story that says the Teamsters are for it.
    "The International Brotherhood of Teamsters "hasn't gotten one complaint from drivers saying they don't have time for a break or a meal," the union's vice president, John Murphy, said at a news conference Tuesday."
    /r/reds

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    Re: Another reason to hate Wal-Mart... and politicians

    The article is poorly written. But I took the Teamster's statement to mean they didn't need the two-hour break that is proposed as part of the longer work day. I checked the Teamster's sight and it looks like they oppose the proposed law.

    Teamsters
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    Re: Another reason to hate Wal-Mart... and politicians

    if my brother still drove for Wal-Mart, he'd love this schedule.
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