Unions

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Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
I always wondered how in the world this was possible especially since the cost of gas had gone through the roof!

Yap the increase in competition and the advent of much better communications & navigation technologies have been the catalyst for incredible increases in the efficiency of moving freight. Better logistics software, GPS navigation and tracking, satellite communications, fuel economy increases, regionalization of freight, and a slew of other improvements have allowed companies to move freight more efficiently. So you had a pretty good flattening of freight rates with a stalemate between greater efficiencies trying to lower prices and inflation trying to raise prices.

Unfortunately driver salaries remained stagnant. The demand for drivers is still really strong but has tempered a little as the United States has continuously lost good paying blue collar jobs in the past few decades. Now add to that the economic crisis of 2008 putting so many people out of work, white collar and blue collar alike, and there just isn't much of a demand for goods in the economy or a shrinkage in the driver pool. Therefore, no real catalyst to raise freight rates or driver salaries.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

Tracey K.'s Comment
member avatar

Amen Brett!

They can help and they can hurt. I worked for the teamsters back when I was with Kroger many, many years ago. I went form minimum wage of $2.60 an hour to $11.74 when I left. And I was only part time.

We have lost a great deal over the years. I believe it will change again, it's just will take time. The biggest threat to the drivers salary right now, is the unprofessional driver. You don't have to be squeaky clean either to be a professional. Its a ethic thing. But it has a lot to do with how you or we are being paid. The rest lays in the hands of the suits and ties. Government included.

Oh, I better stop. My blood pressure is rising.

Kit's Comment
member avatar

So raising driver wages through unionization would help driver wages, would have little or no influence on the profitability of trucking companies, and would hurt the economy in general. Because there are 3.5 million drivers that stand to benefit but 315 million (or so) Americans that would be hurt by higher truck driver salaries, nobody is in any kind of a hurry to unionize trucking. Add to that the fragmentation of the industry which would make unionization a million times more difficult than in an industry with only a few major players (the Airlines for example) and you come to the only conclusion you really can - unionization of the trucking industry is not going to happen anytime soon, if ever.

The premise of your argument is that of trickle-down economics. Paying workers more, overall, would help the economy, not hurt the economy. Putting money in the workers' hands allows them to buy more goods. The rising tide lifts all ships. Taking the money out of the hands of CEOs and putting it into the hands of the people who do the actual work helps the people who do the actual work. A related idea is that of taxation. Raising taxes on the wealthy is another way to get the money flowing up instead of down. This money could be used to fund our ailing highway infrastructure and to provide more rest stops for trucks.

"You see, Republicans almost universally advocate low taxes on the wealthy, based on the claim that tax cuts at the top will have huge beneficial effects on the economy. This claim rests on research by … well, nobody. There isn’t any body of serious work supporting G.O.P. tax ideas, because the evidence is overwhelmingly against those ideas."

Krugman Article--Tax Policy Dance

If taxing the wealthy doesn't hurt the economy, neither will raising wages hurt the economy.

The other issue is the increasing productivity of American workers in the time frame that you mention. Using data by the U.S. BLS, the average productivity per American worker has increased 400% since 1950. Therefore, “it should only take one-quarter the work hours, or 11 hours per week, to afford the same standard of living as a worker in 1950 (or our standard of living should be 4 times higher). Is that the case? Obviously not. Someone is profiting, it’s just not the average American worker.”

American Productivity

George Carlin said it best: "You have owners. They own you." If the April 12, 2019 wildcat strike I've been hearing about in Black Smoke Matters comes to pass, those owners may have to take a step or two back.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Taking the money out of the hands of CEOs and putting it into the hands of the people who do the actual work helps the people who do the actual work. A related idea is that of taxation. Raising taxes on the wealthy is another way to get the money flowing up instead of down. This money could be used to fund our ailing highway infrastructure and to provide more rest stops for trucks.

You're not the first to come up with that premise. In fact, we could do that and there's even a name for it. It's Socialism.

confused.gif

The other issue is the increasing productivity of American workers in the time frame that you mention. Using data by the U.S. BLS, the average productivity per American worker has increased 400% since 1950. Therefore, “it should only take one-quarter the work hours, or 11 hours per week, to afford the same standard of living as a worker in 1950 (or our standard of living should be 4 times higher). Is that the case? Obviously not. Someone is profiting, it’s just not the average American worker.”

What that doesn't account for is the fact that it takes a tremendous amount of cutting edge technology to make those productivity boosts happen. Creating and developing that technology takes incredible amounts of money and man-hours.

It also doesn't take into account the service sector. We have become a service-oriented economy. We're not just pumping out widgets, we're providing people and businesses with conveniences, which can't be measured the same way.

It also doesn't take into account inflation. People may produce more, but inflation raises the cost of everything so we need a lot more money to pay for it. Workers are 400% more productive than they were in 1950, but inflation since 1950:

Total inflation from January 1950 to January 2018 is 954.75%

$1000 after inflation is $10,547.53

Keep in mind that statistical bias is the #1 form of fake news.

If taxing the wealthy doesn't hurt the economy

Of course it hurts the economy. Everyone becomes more conservative in their spending as you increase their tax rate, regardless of income. Even if the net result is that you feel less rich, though it doesn't affect you in a direct way, your spending habits will change.

If the April 12, 2019 wildcat strike I've been hearing about in Black Smoke Matters comes to pass, those owners may have to take a step or two back.

There has never been a time in history when a trucking strike hasn't been threatened by someone. Unfortunately that group has fewer than 20,000 members and there are like 3 million trucks on the road. Not only that, but they are the owners of those trucks so I'm not sure how that would cause "owners" to take a step or two back.

I'm all for a better balance of money between workers and management but the reality is that in trucking you have an extremely fractured industry and it's going to be nearly impossible to bring together an effective strike. If owner operators strike, the large companies are going to get even larger.

If company drivers strike they're almost certainly going to lose their jobs because the large companies are not going to back the idea. Not to mention, it's going to be tough to convince people to go on strike when they're making North of $70,000 with fantastic benefits driving brand new rigs.

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar
Not to mention, it's going to be tough to convince people to go on strike when they're making North of $70,000 with fantastic benefits driving brand new rigs.

THIS!!!

Why the hell would i strike when I make more now than I did as a unionized federal employee????

If being an owner op is sooooo awesome then why are they protesting. There is a video of these so called strikers on Youtube posted as "Black Smoke Matters shuts down I95 in Washington DC". They parked for a total of 5 seconds, and crawled along at 25mph blaring their horns as if they did something. uh...no...95 in Washington DC doesnt go much faster than that normally. and most people outside the trucking world never heard of it.

Almost all of those Black Smoke Matters complainers are doing so based on mandatory ELDs. Which in no way changed the HOS rules. I just stated on another thread that they are basically admitting they have been illegally running and hiding it on paper logs. Their other argument is "safety" about the logs...yet most never do pretrips or properly maintain their ancient rigs. Im more afraid of their brakes not working than of an HOS rule.

And the head of the movement is alienating not only the left wing liberals who would normally support such protests, but also any driver who started trucking since 1990. Basically we arent truckers to him because we never drove the "old school rigs" and are part of the reason trucking today is "only a shadow of what is was in 1970 and 1980". We are nothing but a bunch of steering wheel holders to them. Fine, let them strike and ill be racking up the miles and raking in the dough.

Besides, Mike Robbins is having internal issues. Supposedly he only posts on the blog now and not facebook...or vice versa. i wasnt interest and forget.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

I find it amusing that a part-time driver (Kit) is advocating a trucker strike after resurfacing a five-year old thread.

Agenda? I think so.

Read his profile, it references “Black Smoke Matters”.

So Kit, Trucking Truth’s charter is all about helping committed men and women from any walk of life, including retired CEOs make a positive go at this career. How does your week politically bent post achieve that? Who exactly does it help?

Bill F.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

So raising driver wages through unionization would help driver wages, would have little or no influence on the profitability of trucking companies, and would hurt the economy in general. Because there are 3.5 million drivers that stand to benefit but 315 million (or so) Americans that would be hurt by higher truck driver salaries, nobody is in any kind of a hurry to unionize trucking. Add to that the fragmentation of the industry which would make unionization a million times more difficult than in an industry with only a few major players (the Airlines for example) and you come to the only conclusion you really can - unionization of the trucking industry is not going to happen anytime soon, if ever.

double-quotes-end.png

The premise of your argument is that of trickle-down economics. Paying workers more, overall, would help the economy, not hurt the economy. Putting money in the workers' hands allows them to buy more goods. The rising tide lifts all ships. Taking the money out of the hands of CEOs and putting it into the hands of the people who do the actual work helps the people who do the actual work. A related idea is that of taxation. Raising taxes on the wealthy is another way to get the money flowing up instead of down. This money could be used to fund our ailing highway infrastructure and to provide more rest stops for trucks.

"You see, Republicans almost universally advocate low taxes on the wealthy, based on the claim that tax cuts at the top will have huge beneficial effects on the economy. This claim rests on research by … well, nobody. There isn’t any body of serious work supporting G.O.P. tax ideas, because the evidence is overwhelmingly against those ideas."

Krugman Article--Tax Policy Dance

If taxing the wealthy doesn't hurt the economy, neither will raising wages hurt the economy.

The other issue is the increasing productivity of American workers in the time frame that you mention. Using data by the U.S. BLS, the average productivity per American worker has increased 400% since 1950. Therefore, “it should only take one-quarter the work hours, or 11 hours per week, to afford the same standard of living as a worker in 1950 (or our standard of living should be 4 times higher). Is that the case? Obviously not. Someone is profiting, it’s just not the average American worker.”

American Productivity

George Carlin said it best: "You have owners. They own you." If the April 12, 2019 wildcat strike I've been hearing about in Black Smoke Matters comes to pass, those owners may have to take a step or two back.

Reagan cut taxes and the economy boomed. 8 years of Obama liberal lunacy and the economy actually contracted (got smaller) for the first time in our history. Trump cuts taxes and the economy booms. And linking to a Krugman piece, the idiot who predicted our economy would actually crash because of tax cuts. What a joke.

No University research needed. We are living it.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Kit's Comment
member avatar

I think the company drivers will stick with the movement if they can see how the rising tide for owner-operators also affects their wages, hours, and so forth. The plight of all workers, not just truckers, is tied together. It was much easier to make ends meet in the 70s, regardless of what you did for a living (speaking generally) than it is now. If a rising tide lifts all ships, a falling tide grounds all ships. The tide has been falling for most workers, no matter how you may want to spin it. If I have an agenda, it is that our owners (society's owners) stop calling all the shots. Wanting a bigger piece of the pie isn't socialism. Calling someone a socialist is a straw man tactic. Check out some of today's economists (particularly Stephanie Kelton) if you would like a reality check on how taxes actually work. Rich people can only spend so much. The rest goes to offshore tax shelters (also watch Nick Hanauer on Youtube when he warns fellow plutocrats to beware). Generally speaking, I believe that your organization has loads of helpful information and advice, for which I'm grateful. I would offer; humbly of course, because of my status as merely a part-time driver trying to make ends meet as I pay my child support; that the most ethical stance to take in all of this, is to promote that which most benefits drivers versus the mega companies that want to hire them. You have correctly identified that driver turnover is a huge problem. Don't be too quick to blame drivers (including terminal rats) for all of this. If we truly had a driver shortage, wages would be north of $140,000 as they are in some remote minefields and other places in Texas where there are actual shortages.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

Yyyyyyaaaawwwwnnnn.

I make a ton of money, run as hard or as little as i want with no headaches at one of these mega carriers you claim to be awful and not treating me right.

I get everything I want. And just by the attitudes of people, you can tell the bums from the great workers. I train if i want extra money and dont if i dont. I have a great relationship with my support staff....they know me well. I have a fat savings account and a growing 401k. the owner ops are in the hole due to.choices THEY made.

No one wants to work anymore, they want everything handed to them. THAT is the problem with our society.

What it comes down to is that owner ops want to be big deal owner ops...but they want to break the law and call it oppression. They dont want to fork out the money needed to run a business, and many dont know how to run one.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
I think the company drivers will stick with the movement if they can see how the rising tide for owner-operators also affects their wages, hours, and so forth

What are the demands of the strike going to be? Who is it directed at? How is it going to increase wages permanently across the board for all drivers?

There are two ways to get increased wages for drivers - laws or unions. No one is going to pass a law that says you have to pay truck drivers more money, and with such a fractured industry where 97% of all of the companies in the nation have fewer than 20 trucks how to you intend to unionize?

If we truly had a driver shortage, wages would be north of $140,000 as they are in some remote minefields and other places in Texas where there are actual shortages.

I've never heard of any driving job that pays $140,000/year. If there are any they wouldn't make up even .01% of the total number of drivers in the country, so they would be extreme outliers, 1 out of 1,000. You can't possibly expect that the average driver wage should be equal what the top 1 out of 1,000 drivers are making.

I also don't know how you figure the average driver would be making $140,000 if there was a driver shortage. There are a ton of industries with a shortage of workers but they don't just go throwing mountains of money at the problem. How many drivers quit driving because they can't make enough money? Very, very few. They quit because they can't handle the pressure, the lifestyle, the tight schedules, and the time away from their home and families. Doubling the wages will not cut back on the pressures and hardships that come along with this job. They will make them slightly more bearable for a short amount of time but before long the same people who would have quit after only a few months are still going to quit after just a few more.

Like I said, I'd like to see a better balance in wages between workers and management, but I can't see how going on strike is going to change anything. Who would a strike be aimed at and how is it going to increase driver wages permanently across the board?

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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