Wal-Mart Wants 'Sweat Shop" On Wheels Conditions For Tr

Hi All,

This is taken from CNN.com


WASHINGTON (AP) – Wal-Mart and other retailers are lobbying Congress to extend the workday for truckers to 16 hours, something labor unions and safety advocates say would make roadways more dangerous for all drivers.

Rep. John Boozman, an Arkansas Republican whose district includes Wal-Mart’s headquarters in Bentonville, is sponsoring a bill that would allow a 16-hour workday as long as the trucker took an unpaid two-hour break. The proposal is expected to be offered as an amendment during debate over the highway spending bill on Wednesday.

“Truckers are pushing harder than ever to make their runs within the mandated timeframe,” Boozman said. “Optional rest breaks will reduce driver layovers and improve both safety and efficiency.”

Current rules limit drivers’ workdays to 14 hours, with only 11 consecutive hours of driving allowed, union leaders and safety advocates say. That gives truckers three hours to eat, rest or load and unload their trucks.

Critics of the proposal accuse Wal-Mart of trying to fatten its profits by forcing truckers to spend more time waiting at the loading dock without getting paid.

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters “hasn’t gotten one complaint from drivers saying they don’t have time for a break or a meal,” the union’s vice president, John Murphy, said at a news conference Tuesday.

Joan Claybrook, president of the safety advocacy group Public Citizen, said drivers could end up starting their workday at 8 a.m. and quitting at midnight.

“This is a sweatshop-on-wheels amendment,” Claybrook said. “The last thing we need is for tired truckers to become even more fatigued and threaten the safety of those around them on the roads.”

The current rule had been struck down in federal court because it didn’t take into account truck drivers’ health. In October, Congress reinstated the rule for one year. If the Boozman proposal is adopted, it would retain the 16-hour workday regardless of any new rule.

Nearly 5,000 people were killed in large truck crashes in 2003, and those vehicles were three times more likely to be involved in fatal crashes than passenger cars, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

Wal-Mart spokesman Erik Winborn said the proposal has broad support among the trucking industry and other retailers.

“We support it because we feel it would actually enhance safety rather than hurt safety,” said Winborn, whose company employs about 7,000 truck drivers.

Wal-Mart employees were Boozman’s top contributors in 2003-04, giving him $48,152 for his re-election campaign, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Wal-Mart and its employees gave $44,500 to Boozman for his first successful bid for Congress in 2001-02, the last year corporations could give to congressional candidates.

I thought slavery was forbidden in the good ““OLD USA”” but it seems
like that it is still being practisied although in another form.

wal-mart is well known for its anti union attitudes,this statement say it all.

I wouldn’t exactly call driving for Wall Mart slavery :exclamation: Company drivers are probably the best paid and best treated drivers in the country, they are like Tesco drivers were 15 years ago.
I was sent an application form from them after recomendation by an employee, but the nearest depot to me is 150 miles each way and even working away from mon to fri I didn’t find the drive to work attractive.

Remember that untill just over a year ago the working day WAS 16 hours.


PS;- 16 hours :question: I could do ith more time off :laughing:

Pat. ok if they arepaying good wages then bring more drivers in as a
measure and not say that a 16hr day with 2hrs off unpaid is a hell of a
lot stress time, driveing time (?): physical work done,and over a long set
period of time the body will retaliate in more ways than one against
this punishment, Yes we all need no reminder of what was the norm
before, but We did not have the pressure of todays time,the speed limit
was different, etc etc,yesokay I am no expert on the americian way of
trucking but to me it is quite simpily an easy equation to work out
the body will react to the damage that occurs and we end up with more
problems which may be. serious. and so I now end my case,

I know quite a lot of Wall Mart drivers, they do no manual work whatsoever :exclamation:

They just drop and hook, even the fith wheels and king pins are air powered.

They sometimes have to wind legs up or down without help though :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

pat, talk to the guys that deliver to the walmart rdcs. i doubt that will have the same enthusiasm as the walmart company drivers.