By Paul Benfer –

The Protect the Right to Organize Act seeks to take California’s AB5 bill and make it a federal law by amending the National Labor Relations Act of 1947. What the sponsors are really seeking to do is continue their assault on small business such as owner-operators who drive as independent agents for many small and large carriers. It is also payback to their friends in the Teamsters Union who have not been able to organize owner-operators in the past.

Eighty-five percent of container drayage drivers are owner-operators. What will happen at our ports, especially now with little to no capacity available, if the above house bill is enacted? Expect port drayage costs to increase dramatically, while what little capacity now available becomes scarcer. The TIA sent out a letter last year warning about the negative impact of this legislation (see below).

“PRO Act argue that it seeks to rewrite our country’s labor laws by:

  • Repeals all right-to-work laws across the United States.
  • Change franchise laws across the United States.
  • Essentially eliminates independent contractors across the United States (CA AB5 nationally).
  • Giving unions the power to penalize workers for not paying union dues.
  • Egregious infringement on an individual’s; privacy, by allowing private information to be shared with unions with no safeguards in place. 
  • Imposes card check.

Other reasons the party in charge is so intent on passing the above is tax collection and regulation. As a former FMCSA director once said at a conference I attended, “it is much easier to audit, inspect and manage ten large carriers than thousands.”

Please get involved and contact your senators and urge them to vote against the above legislation when it comes before the senate.