By Joe Rajkovacz
OOIDA director of regulatory affairs
In May, I represented OOIDA and testified before the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee in DC on the impact and implementation of the Clean Truck Programs at the Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach. It’s a far-reaching topic, and OOIDA had plenty to say on whether the Clean Truck Program has improved working conditions at the ports and whether certain parts of the CTP were necessary to achieve the labor and environmental objectives established by the ports.
We told Congress that the ports of L.A. and Long Beach are served by owner-operators who in the past operated significantly older trucks than the national norm and the replacement of those trucks is good for a variety of reasons. But every port is different and faces its own set of challenges. For that reason, OOIDA will oppose any mandate upon ports nationwide to adopt the L.A./Long Beach style Clean Truck Program. Have you heard us say this before, that one size doesn’t fit all?
There are issues afoot that keep port drivers from ever earning a livable wage and cause trucks to fall into disrepair. So we feel strongly that those reasons simply can’t be ignored.
Passage of the CTP won’t make driver abuse by motor carriers go away, nor will it end the illegal practices that allow drivers to be cheated out of their pay.
A real start to improving emissions and working conditions for thousands of downtrodden drayage haulers is to seriously enforce leasing regulations, thus making sure these drivers can make enough money to run safer, greener equipment. Not just now, but in the future. LL