This week, Congress will decide the fate of an American Trucking Association-backed amendment to a federal aviation bill that could have massive repercussions for truck drivers.
The Denham Amendment, named for California Rep. Jeff Denham, would attempt to standardize truck driver rest breaks and benefits by creating a uniform nationwide set of requirements that would preempt state laws and regulations. Denham has attempted to pass the amendment several times over the past few years.
The amendment has been tucked into the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act, which is up for a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives this week.
OOIDA has issued a call to action, urging truckers to contact their lawmakers to demand that they oppose the Denham Amendment. OOIDA argues that the broad language of the amendment could have serious and negative repercussions for drivers.
OOIDA says that “the amendment would let large carriers further reduce driver wages, resulting in a negative outcome for highway safety” and that it “would block any future efforts to expand driver pay and ensure truckers are fairly compensated for all the hours they work.” OOIDA also points out that trucking regulation amendments do not belong in aviation bills. You can click here for information from OOIDA on how to contact your representatives.
OOIDA’s acting president Todd Spencer notes, “Congressman Denham continues to push his F4A amendment at the behest of ATA. They’ve had every opportunity to narrow the scope of the language, and they’ve simply refused to do so. The amendment being considered now is overly broad and we’re concerned it goes well beyond addressing state meal and rest break laws.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has also urged Democrats to oppose the Denham Amendment, declaring that “This wrongheaded amendment denies truck drivers the voluntary lunch or rest break that they are guaranteed in more than 20 states by state law, which in many cases have been on the books for decades.”