Sep 05 2010

Wanted: some capitalists the government can exploit? Or, how big labor hates independent truckers who simply own their own rigs and want to work

Category: Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 8:52 pm

I told the story before of how certain “community activist” organizations want to make it essentially impossible for individual truckers (which include many “minorities” who scrimped to buy their own trucks) to operate at the port of Long Beach, by imposing unrealistic emissions goals, under the guise of protecting asthmatics.

Now, it seems that a judge has ruled against the individual truckers, as represented by an independent trucker’s organization, the American Trucking Association, by upholding new, much more restrictive emissions goals.

Port of Los Angeles: Judge upholds clean truck provision

The industry group that challenged Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa‘s clean truck program at the Port of Los Angeles said Friday that it would appeal a federal court ruling that upheld the initiative in its entirety.

Thursday’s decision, issued by U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder in Los Angeles upheld the harbor department’s right to require concession agreements for each truck that carries cargo through the port. Those agreements are a cornerstone of the mayor’s clean-air initiative to replace older diesel trucks at the port with newer, cleaner-burning ones.

Read this next bit carefully.  It is key to understanding what’s behind this.

Snyder upheld one of the most controversial components of Villaraigosa’s clean-port initiative — the requirement that any truck driver carrying goods in and out of the harbor must be employed by a trucking company. That provision was aggressively sought by the Teamsters union and was viewed as a way of making it easier for truck drivers to organize.

Change to Win, a labor coalition that backed the provision, contributed $500,000 to a voter-approved telephone tax measure crafted by Villaraigosa in 2008. That contribution arrived less than three months before the concession agreements were approved by the mayor’s appointees on the harbor commission.

In other words, the Teamster’s union doesn’t like private truckers competing with them.  Democrat politicians are beholden to the unions.  So while leftist community groups who also supported this initiative continue to bash presumed-to-be-evil corporations, they are about to join the unions and Democrat politicians in demanding that truckers at the harbor be employed by one, because that provides the deep pockets from which concessions can be demanded, and gives a target for the unions to organize against.  Unions have little success organizing private entrepreneurs who are self-employed, after all.

The judge also said the employer requirements would ensure that truck drivers work for companies that have enough money to maintain a new fleet of cleaner-fuel trucks.

Yep.  And what do you want to bet that when the lefty community groups finally drive out the private truckers in favor of some corporate trucking firm (which the unions can control), that same constellation of the unions, Democrat politicians and lefty community groups will then bash the corporation for all sorts of imagined infractions and misdeeds.

In the meantime, of course, those private truckers are likely to be looking for work elsewhere, since their trucks won’t meet the new standards.

Everybody wins here.  The community organizers can feel all virtuous at driving out the “dirty” trucks (despite the fact that Souther California’s air is cleaner than ever already), the unions get control of another slice of the industry, and the politicians get another corporation to regulate and tax.

Everyone wins except the small trucker, that is, who can basically go pound sand.

UPDATE:  and these are often the same people who resist new Walmarts, claiming their great love for the small businesses they supposedly replace.  Oh, I forgot:  Walmart is not a union shop.  If it was, there wouldn’t be a mom and pop store left in the USA, most likely, between the community activists and the unions falling all over themselves to drive out the mom and pops, who obviously couldn’t compete.