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PREMEDITATED MERGER

Teamsters sue to halt Mexican truckers

'This reckless program must be stopped and the public protected'

A lawsuit has been filed by the Teamsters against the Transportation Department’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration over a pilot plan to allow Mexican truck drivers – and trucks – access to U.S. highways.

As WND has reported, the government will have no access to whether those truckers have any criminal records, and the system is being set up to allow those trucks loaded with goods to cross the border in as little as 15 seconds.

The action was filed Monday in federal court in California, alleging the Bush administration’s program failed to publish proper, advance notice of the pilot plan and failed to allow an opportunity for public comment before the program takes effect.

“The Bush administration is ignoring the American people in its zeal to open our borders to unsafe Mexican trucks,” said Jim Hoffa, Teamsters general president. “This reckless pilot program must be stopped and the driving public protected.”

Other plaintiffs in the lawsuit are the Sierra Club, Public Citizen, the Environmental Law Foundation and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association.

Congress already has begun a move to close down the program, but legislation may not be quick enough, the plaintiffs said. Under a 2001 NAFTA order, the proposal, scheduled to take effect within days, authorizes up to 100 Mexico-based trucking companies to operate beyond a narrow border zone.

WND reported the Department of Transportation plans to certify the first participating Mexican trucking company as early as the end of April or the beginning of May.

A provision being considered in an emergency spending bill would block funding for the plan until Mexican companies meet congressionally mandated safety and security standards. It also would require that U.S. companies have equal access to Mexico roads and require the project to meet federal law governing pilot programs.

“The Bush administration is trying to circumvent safety requirements by repackaging this plan as an illegal pilot program,” Hoffa said. “Inspectors can’t enforce truck safety in the United States, let alone south of the border.’

The Teamsters represent 1.4 million men and women in the U.S. and Canada.





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Truckers with criminal record could access U.S.

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