U.S. Truckers Jobs On Chopping Blocks

NAFTA and Bush killing the US trucking jobs

By Frosty Wooldridge
September 6, 2007

Via President Bush and Congress’ “Mexican Truck Pilot” program, American trucking will change: for the worse.

Thousands of Mexican drivers without formal driving standards, without drug testing and without legal passports to identify them to us—shortly will invade America’s freeways.

They lack the ability to write and read in English, jeopardizing safety checks and logbook protocol. To top it off, they lack experience driving in snow and major metropolitan gridlock traffic.

As a former United Van Lines truck trainer and safety officer, I charge President Bush and Congress for contempt of American truckers and American jobs. Of all the lowball frauds Bush perpetrated on American workers—this one takes the cake. Soon, he’ll be telling us that these Mexican drivers “do the jobs that American truckers won’t do.” Bush won’t reveal how many American lives will be sacrificed as collateral damage on our nation’s highways. How do I know that many American families will be ordering grave markers for their loved ones? Because they will be killed by Mexican truck drivers!

What’s it like driving a big rig? How can a driver keep all 18 wheels rolling for hundreds of miles without a mishap? What does it mean to load and unload thousands of pounds? What’s the difference between an independent versus a company driver?

America moves by trucks. Everything in every household across America arrived by truck. American drivers loaded and unloaded everything from your groceries to your dry goods. Along America’s highways, you see portable parking lots (car haulers), hog haulers, steer haulers, bed bug haulers (furniture), and hazardous material drivers. Twenty four hours a day, the big rigs roll along ribbons of concrete that knit America into a functioning civilization.

How do I know? My math and science teaching job paid meager wages in the early 70s. Try $5,400.00 a year! To supplement this poverty income, I earned a Commercial Driver’s License while trucking with United Van Lines for 24 summers and three solid years in Denver, Colorado. I packed 20,000 pounds of furniture on Monday and Tuesday, drove my brains out—and delivered on Thursday and Friday. If I didn’t find a return load, I rolled my rig back to home base on Saturday and Sunday to load again on Monday. I worked more than 70 hours a week like a beast for a good paycheck. I’ve driven for Single Source Paving and Consolidated Freight. I know trucking and truckers. Drivers must be highly qualified, alert, clear minded and 100 percent perfect 100 percent of the time.

Bush signed the death warrants for untold American citizens with his pilot program. Why? As a teacher, I know that the average Mexican truck driver left school by 6th grade. That means he cognitively thinks like a 6th grader. Would you allow your 6th grade child to drive a 60,000 pound, 65 foot long tractor-trailer? How would he do at rush hour in Houston, Chicago or LA? Would he possess good judgment in a snow storm? Take a guess!