Though the proposed rulemaking has yet to be issued, some
groups are already expressing displeasure with some aspects of the Department
of Homeland Security’s Transportation Worker Identification Credential program.
A spokeswoman for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters
told Government Executive Magazine that her group is concerned about the
fees for the program that are in the proposed rule.
TSA officials say funding for the program would come from
the workers themselves, who would be expected to pay $139 to receive the card.
Workers with current, compatible background checks –
including truckers who have hazmat endorsements – would be charged $105. Cards
would be valid for five years.
Leigh Strope, spokeswoman for the Teamsters, told Government
Executive that her group has “concerns about the cost of the TWIC program
and the impact it will have on port drivers who are already living at poverty
But Rod Nofziger, director of government affairs for OOIDA,
said the Teamsters seem to be more concerned about the job security of the port
workers and trying to organize the drivers, and the fees themselves probably
won’t cost the drivers as much as is feared.
“From what I understand, most port workers’ fees would be
covered by their employers,” he said. “Port truckers would be a bit more on
their own, but with the supposed driver shortage they could make a case for
those fees being covered by the companies they are leased to.”
Nofziger said OOIDA is certainly not endorsing the fees, but
he cautioned that the Teamsters’ motivations could be different from their
– By Terry Scruton, senior writer