Freight Brokers Ramp Up Fight Against Bill That Could Spell ‘Disaster’ For Owner-Operators
Washington D.C. – The largest group of freight brokers and third-party logistics (3PL) companies is intensifying its efforts in opposition to legislation threatening trucking’s independent contractor model.
The Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) is “ramping up communications” with members of the United States Senate urging them to reject the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act.
Chris Burroughs, TIA’s vice president of government affairs, tells Transportation Nation Network (TNN) the PRO Act could spell “disaster” for thousands of owner-operators.
“It potentially has the effect of being extremely devastating to owner-operators, and independent contractors in general, which a lot of our members heavily utilize and rely on,” Burroughs said. “Everyone I’ve talked to in terms of our members is fully aware of the consequences this could have.”
Earlier this month, after the Democratically-controlled U.S. House of Representatives passed the PRO Act largely along party lines, the 1,600 member group sent a letter to U.S. Senate leadership outlining its concerns.
“As written, the legislation puts the federal government between workers and their companies in an unprecedented fashion by controlling major aspects of the employer and employee relationship,” wrote Anne Reinke, TIA’s president and CEO. “This anti-worker and anti-business legislation re-defines the American worker, essentially dictating the type of work they may perform.”
As is the case with most every trucking industry group, TIA is also taking aim at the so-called “ABC Test” included in the PRO Act.
“TIA is specifically concerned that certain provision within the three-prong ‘ABC Test,’ especially relating to ‘work outside the course of hiring entity’s business,’ this language potentially brings independent carriers under the authority of the contracting broker,” she wrote.
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Reinke goes on to assert that if the PRO Act becomes law it would change the relationship between small carriers and brokers and thus “would make [TIA] member companies liable for everything from healthcare to wages.”
Burroughs said he, along with TIA members, remain “very active” in ongoing dialogue about the issue with Senate leaders.
A long list of trucking industry groups including the American Trucking Associations, Truckload Carriers Association, Owner Operator Independent Driver’s Association, and Small Business in Transportation Coalition continue to voice strong opposition to the PRO Act.
However, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who is also a sponsor of the bill, continues to move full speed ahead in efforts to pass the measure.
TransportationNation.com will soon have more on the battle over the PRO Act, so make sure you are following us on social media or sign up for free membership and receive breaking news alerts and much more.