Vermont senator Bernie Sanders is urging President Trump to sign the Port Drivers’ Bill of Rights Act, an executive Order aimed at stopping the exploitation of port truck drivers.
The Port Drivers’ Bill of Rights Act was written by California Senator Grace Napolitano as a way of “fighting to protect the wages, rights, and working conditions of truckers at ports across the country.”
According to Napolitano’s press release, the bill looks to “restore justice and dignity to truck drivers and their families,” by undermining the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994, which allows trucking companies “to avoid state and local wage laws in order to underpay and overwork their drivers.”
“Hundreds of port truck drivers are being forced into working as independent operators as a way for their employer to pay them below minimum wage and deny them benefits, creating an unlivable wage for them and their families,” the press release continues.
On Saturday, Senator Bernie Sanders endorsed the bill and published a Facebook post urging President Trump to take action.
Under the new Port Drivers’ Bill of Rights Act, a “task force” would be established to monitor and regulate the practice of truck leasing for port drivers.
The Port Drivers’ Bill of Rights Act (H.R. 4144) is being introduced alongside the Clean Ports Act of 2017 (H.R. 4147), which would require motor carriers and port facilities to “reduce environmental pollution.”
“If the President is serious about his support for our nation’s truck drivers, he should sign an executive order to deny government contracts and subcontracts for trucking companies that misclassify workers as independent contractors, force workers to lease the trucks they drive and engage in other abusive labor practices,” said Senator Bernie.
President Trump’s has praised American truck drivers and highlighted the importance of the trucking industry on multiple occasions, however his stance on the Port Drivers’ Bill of Rights Act is not yet clear.