By Land Line staff
"Our actions right now have the potential to yield huge results," said OOIDA President and CEO Jim Johnston, who commended the Association's membership for their involvement. "While our DC staff is working hard to push the establishment of critical protections for truckers, our members have been really active, too. They know what's on the line and how to put pressure where it's needed.
"OOIDA has strong resources to be influential where it counts. While it starts with the Board setting the objectives, it's important to know we have an army of people willing to back us up with their phone calls, email, letters and personal visits."
OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer updated the board on the Association's legislative affairs. OOIDA's Director of Government Affairs Laura O'Neill and Director of Legislative Affairs Ryan Bowley reported on the Association's government affairs agenda. EOBRs, speed limiters and detention time were among the topics that claimed top spots, along with Mexican trucks, freight broker reform and other initiatives.
Government Affairs Associate Cyndi Cramblett reported on the Association's Political Action Committee.
Johnston updated the Board on the Association's litigation efforts, including OOIDA v. Comerica. On March 20, 2012, a federal court in Columbus, OH, ruled in OOIDA's favor and awarded the class $5.5 million. The case has not seen closure, said Johnston, but is getting close.
Other cases that could see progress by fall include OOIDA v. C.R. England, said Johnston. The class action lawsuit of OOIDA v. CRE was first filed in 2002. The truth-in-leasing case went to trial in 2006 and the win was awarded to the truckers, but figuring out how much is owed to the class members has been complicated and lengthy.
General VP Woody Chambers also serves as head of the Foundation Advisory Board. He reported on the activities of the Foundation, including the success of OOIDA's business seminars and the addition of a new research assistant, Andrew King.
Chambers also represents small-business truckers on the board of the Unified Carriers Registration plan.
Board members discussed enforcement reports from non-participating UCR states, such as Oregon. Even though those states are non-participating states, motor carriers based in those states are still required to pay the UCR fee. Chambers said that at this time, nonpayment is not an out-of-service violation. However, he reported that one member of the UCR board recently introduced a motion for the UCR board to draft a letter to CVSA requesting them to consider non-compliance an out-of-service offense. Chambers told the Board that the motion failed after considerable lobbying against it by UCR members from the trucking industry.
OOIDA Mary Johnston Scholarship Committee Chairman Bill Rode gave the Board an update on the activities of the scholarship program. The committee received more than 90 applications for the 2012-2013 school year. Rode said that every applicant was "so deserving" that the committee had a tough job of narrowing it down to five winners. This year's winners will be announced in the July issue of Land Line Magazine.
Rode informed the Board that $206,500 in scholarship money has been awarded since 1998 to help 71 scholarship winners "achieve their dreams of going to college or trade school." LL