Friday, September 14, 2007

Bush creating North American Union

Teamsters boss: Mexican trucks part of 'master plan' for 'super-government'

Saying he is convinced "the Bush administration has a master plan to erase all borders and to have a super-government in North America," James P. Hoffa, general president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, celebrated the Senate's 75-23 vote Tuesday night to block the Department of Transportation's Mexican truck demonstration project.

In an exclusive interview with WND, Hoffa argued that the Bush administration push to allow Mexican trucks into the U.S. is symptomatic of a larger administration plan advanced by multi-national corporations to create a European Union-style regional 'super-government' in North America. Continued................

USF Reddaway Workers in Colorado Join Teamsters Through Card-Check

Drivers, Dockworkers In Grand Junction Join Local 17 In Denver

Dockworkers and drivers at the USF Reddaway terminal in Grand Junction, Colorado are now Teamsters after the company recognized the workers through a card-check agreement.

The card-check agreement enabling the victory in Grand Junction was included in a contract that was ratified in August by workers at Reddaway terminals in California, Arizona and New Mexico. The contract was ratified 216-13 and covers about 400 workers.

USF Reddaway recognized the Grand Junction workers on September 7.

“The employees in Grand Junction have read the contract and ran to the Teamsters so they too can have more job protections and improved wages and benefits,” said Michael Simeone, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 17 in Denver.

The workers in Grand Junction will be covered under the same contract that was ratified in August. The five-year contract will significantly improve their wages, pensions, health care and other benefits.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Senate Votes to Ban Mexican Trucks

The Senate voted Tuesday to ban Mexican trucks from U.S. roadways, rekindling a more than decade-old trade dispute with Mexico.

By a 74-24 vote, the Senate approved a proposal by Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., prohibiting the Transportation Department from spending money on a North American Free Trade Agreement pilot program giving Mexican trucks greater access to U.S. highways.

The proposal is part of a $106 billion transportation and housing spending bill that the Senate hopes to vote on later this week. The House approved a similar provision to Dorgan's in July as part of its version of the transportation spending bill.

Supporters of Dorgan's amendment argued the trucks are not yet proven safe. Opponents said the U.S. is applying tougher standards to Mexican trucks than to Canadian trucks and failing to live up to its NAFTA obligations.

Until last week, Mexican trucks were restricted to a commercial border zone stretching about 20 miles inside the United States, except in Arizona, where it extended 75 miles. One truck has traveled deep into the U.S. interior as part of the pilot program.

Blocking the trucks would help Democrats curry favor with organized labor, an important ally for the 2008 presidential elections.

"Why the urgency? Why not stand up for the (truck) standards that we've created and developed in this country?" Dorgan asked.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, who drafted a Republican alternative to Dorgan's amendment, said the attempt to block the trucks appeared to be about limiting competition and may amount to discrimination against Mexico.

"I would never allow an unsafe truck on our highways, particularly Texas highways," said Cornyn, whose amendment failed.

Under NAFTA, Mexico can seek retaliation against the U.S. for failing to adhere to the treaty's requirements, including retaining tariffs on goods that the treaty eliminates, said Sidney Weintraub, a professor emeritus at the University of Texas LBJ School of Public Affairs in Austin.

John Hill, head of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, decried the vote saying it is "a sad victory for the politics of fear and protectionism."

But Teamsters general president Jim Hoffa, whose union has sued to stop the trucks, cheered the decision. "We don't want to share our highways with dangerous trucks from Mexico," Hoffa said.

The trucking program allows up to 100 Mexican carriers to send their trucks on U.S. roadways for delivery and pickup of cargo. None can carry hazardous material or haul cargo between U.S. points.

So far, the Department of Transportation has granted a single Mexican carrier, Transportes Olympic, access to U.S. roads after a more than decade-long dispute over the NAFTA provision opening up the roadways.

One of the carrier's trucks crossed the border in Laredo, Texas last week and delivered its cargo in North Carolina on Monday and was expected to return to Mexico late this week after a stop in Decatur, Ala.

The transportation bill is S. 1789.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Senate Expected to Vote on Unsafe Mexican Truck Program

Vote Follows Mexican Truck Explosion That Killed 34 People, Injured 150

WASHINGTON, Sept. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Teamsters General
President Jim Hoffa today urged the Senate to act swiftly and decisively to
block funding for the Bush administration's illegal Mexican truck program
that is endangering the lives of American drivers.
Hoffa said the program threatens highway safety and national security.
The danger posed by trucks from Mexico was made clear by the truck
explosion late yesterday that killed at least 34 people and injured 150 in
Northern Mexico.
A vote to block funding for the pilot program is expected to take place
in the Senate on Monday afternoon of Sept. 10 or Tuesday, Sept. 11.
"Tomorrow will be the sixth anniversary of the worst terrorist attack
on U.S. soil," Hoffa said. "I don't see how any patriotic American could
vote to allow these dangerous trucks to cross our borders and travel freely
throughout our country."
"We don't know who's driving these trucks and we don't know what
they're carrying," Hoffa said. "Weapons that could be used in a terrorist
attack might be in the backs of these trucks."
According to news reports, the first Mexican truck allowed beyond the
safety zone crossed the border at Laredo at 12:51 a.m. Saturday. The truck
traveled through Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and South Carolina to
North Carolina, where it was to deliver a load of steel.
"Haven't the people of North Carolina suffered enough from the effects
of free trade agreements?" Hoffa said. "To be the first state to receive a
delivery directly from Mexico just adds a whole lot of insult to a whole
lot of injury."
The Transportation Department's inspector general reported last week
that five states said they aren't ready to enforce safety rules for the
pilot project. Those five states are Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Rhode
Island and Utah, while Maryland did not respond.
The inspector general also reported that seven states don't have
procedures in place for enforcing restrictions on point-to-point deliveries
within the United States, a practice known as cabotage. Those are the
District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, New Mexico, Utah and
The Senate is expected to vote on an amendment to the 2008
Transportation Appropriations bill offered by Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D. The
amendment will mirror language passed by the House that blocks funding for
the program.
Note: Legal documents filed in the case and other documents related to
this issue can be found at

Acquisition of Shanghai Jiayu Logistics to cost between $40M and $50M

The president and chief executive of trucking company YRC Worldwide Inc. on Monday said he expects the acquisition of Shanghai Jiayu Logistics Ltd., one of the largest less-than-truckload carriers in China, to cost between $40 million and $50 million.

Speaking at the Wachovia Global Transportation and Packaging Conference, Bill Zollars said the exact cost and other factors of the deal are still being negotiated. He expects the acquisition to close by the end of the year. The transaction was announced in late June.

Zollars said he expects the acquisition to be a key part of the company's growth strategy, because it allows the company to gain more exposure to the booming Asian market.

On the homefront, however, he is not as optimistic.

Zollars said he continues to believe the U.S. economy is worse that people realize, and reiterated his plea for the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates to avoid further deterioration.

Current economic conditions are affecting demand, Zollars said. He noted the pre-holiday peak in business has yet to materialize. And he doesn't expect things to get better soon.

"We're not going to plan for the economy to recover," Zollars said. "We're going to assume that things are going to continue as they are...It doesn't feel like we've hit the bottom right now."

Zollars said the outlook for the U.S. economy, although dim, is aiding the relationship between YRC and the Teamsters union, which represents a large majority of the company's employees.

"The economic environment has helped because they see us as really the only game in town as far as growth is concerned," he said.

Zollars said the company plans to begin contract negotiations with the union in the next few weeks, although the Teamster's contract doesn't expire until April 2008. He expects negotiations to be completed by the end of the year.

Shares of YRC fell 58 cents, or 2 percent, to $27.81 in midday trading. Earlier, shares hit a new 52-week low of $27.66. They have ranged from $28.18 to $47.09 over the past year.