• Patriot Profile: US Road Warrior: Guerreros de la Carretera

    April 10, 2023
    3 Comments

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    In a time when supply chain interruptions and manufacturing shortages are literally on every channel and headline, isn’t it time for us to prioritize the well-being of the small independent truckers at the heart of the shipping industry?

    One of the most significant issues that independent truckers face is the lack of transparency in the payment process, to say nothing of the inconsistency of payment. Independent truckers are often paid by brokers or agents who negotiate the rates with the shipper. These rates are not disclosed to the trucker, leaving them in the dark and at the mercy of the agents. Agents can then take a huge cut of the payment.

    With full control and a lack of regulation of the payment process, agents are also known to regularly delay or withhold payment altogether, leaving truckers in a precarious financial situation. In what world would you ever expect to deliver services without first knowing if you would receive a fair payment? Have you gone to a job interview, asked what the salary is, and the employer said, “Hmmm…Depends on how much I want to keep for myself”?

    Moreover, agents often impose unreasonable terms and conditions on independent truckers. For instance, they may require the trucker to work long hours without adequate rest or impose unrealistic delivery deadlines. Truckers who refuse to comply with these terms risk losing their job and their source of income. These issues have been compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has resulted in a significant decrease in demand for transportation services. As a result, independent truckers have had to accept lower rates, further exacerbating their financial struggles.

    You might ask why laws in place aren’t in place to protect these truckers, but there are already laws in place under Regulation 49 CFR 371.3. Unfortunately, these laws are old, aren’t being enforced, and have too many loopholes that agents consistently, without shame, prioritize their own profits over the wellbeing of their truckers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has attempted to address these issues by implementing regulations that require brokers and agents to provide more transparency in payment and improve payment consistency. However, these regulations have not gone far enough in protecting independent truckers. These large agencies have the finances to hire firms that are actively lobbying to amend these laws to their advantage. But who is left to lobby on behalf of the small independent trucker that can’t afford to hire attorneys or take time away from work to take on this battle?

    The man leading the campaign to bring light to this ignored group is Francklin Perez. He is an outraged and frustrated independent truck driver and the founder of US Road Warrior, a non-profit association of independent Hispanic truckers that are demanding the protection of their right to free trade and fair payment. There are over 300K owner-operators truckers in the US and Canada. They are hardworking individuals who dedicate their lives to moving goods from one place to another. It’s a way of life that many people can’t imagine taking on. It takes a toll on your body and takes time away from your loved one, sometimes for extended periods and holidays. Despite their importance, independent truckers are often taken overlooked as essential to EVERY part of our lives. They don’t have outrageous or unreasonable demands. They just want fair terms and payment for service at the core of our free-market system and the protection of their rights under the law.

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    Francklin has tried to get media attention to focus on its cause through strikes and media campaigns but has had little success. Most recently, they even had a hunger strike in DC but were summarily ignored by our legislators. The media has barely covered their activity, and social media has consistently used algorithms to censor their posts and videos.

    The loss of this one link in the supply chain could represent its total collapse, and It is time for the transportation industry to prioritize independent truckers. Brokers and agents must be held accountable for their actions and be required to provide fair and transparent payment. Truckers must be protected from unreasonable terms and conditions and be paid on time for their services.

    In conclusion, independent truckers are essential to the transportation industry, and their well-being should be a top priority. Agents must stop taking advantage of them and instead work to provide fair and transparent payment. It is time to support the hardworking men and women who keep our economy moving.

    If you’d like to see the full list of the Francklin’s petition or sign up for more information, you can visit the website at usroadwarriors.org. If you don’t want to see empty shelves at the store as we’ve seen recently or delays of home deliveries, we also ask that you contact your congress and senator to support our Independent Truckers.

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    Author

    Barbara Casanova

    Barbara Casanova was born into a political, civically active family. Her parents came to the US from Cuba in 1960. They became very active in the Republican Party and were eventually Presidential Appointees under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush, Sr. She grew up in Washington, DC, and has her degree in Political Science from CUA. She has worked in politics and for advocacy groups for over 25 years in various roles. She now lives in Miami and continues to be active in the Republican Party and Cuban- American organizations, serving on the Board of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly of Florida and the Asociacon Nacional de Hacendados de Cuba.
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    3 Comments
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    Eddie
    Eddie
    10 months ago

    This is crazy they have the law but don't respect. You broke the law and go to jail or pay a lot money in ticket

    Yani
    Yani
    10 months ago

    Thank you for the time you used to listen and write this post. Truckers need to be listen FMCSA is not helping us at all and there are many truckers business that are closing because the brokers that are taking advantage of the hard work that they are doing. Trucks don’t have vacation days, sick day or any other benefits. Again thank you!

    Angie
    Angie
    10 months ago

    Justice has to be serve ! Its only right for our Truckers to get what they deserve. As simple as enforcing whats already written.

    The fight is not over !

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