The amendment overrides certain state labor laws and requires truckers to abide by Department of Transportation regulations instead. What sounds simple could have deep consequences though.
If truckers follow Department of Transportation regulations instead of state laws, companies would no longer have to pay state minimum wage to their drivers. They would instead pay the flat rate of $7.25 per hour, federal minimum wage.
In some states, this could mean truckers losing over a third of the pay they normally would receive.
Industry leaders are split on this issue with the American Trucking Association (ATA) arguing for the amendment stating it will create a more streamlined shipping system while the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) voiced its disagreement insisting that the amendment hurts truckers by lowering wages and making breaks infrequent.
“We’re concerned Congressman Denham’s amendment goes far beyond his stated intent,” said OOIDA Acting President Todd Spencer. “If he is sincerely interested in solely addressing a patchwork of state meal and rest break laws, he should consider a more concise amendment. The amendment being debated now is overly broad and has no business being considered in an aviation bill.”
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