Saturday, January 29, 2011

Jimmy Hoffa wants me to do the right thing and join his union to protect the environment

From The Daily Caller:

President Barack Obama’s administration is using new “environmental standards” to force independent owner-operator truckers into becoming part of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, a union that gave more than $2 million to Democrats in the last two election cycles.

By increasing the number of “green” requirements truckers have to comply with in order to get into some major United States ports — like Los Angeles, Long Beach and Oakland — the Obama administration and the Environmental Protection Agency are helping push previously independent truckers into companies, which then makes them vulnerable to unionization or, in many cases, forced to join a union.

I love, love, love the word "green". 

Please allow me to explain the word "green" as it was used in Annus Horribilis 2010. 
There are no environmentally friendly trucks, skyscrapers, houses, shopping bags, cars, kitty litters, or restaurants.  But if you are willing to employ favored companies, support favored programs, or manufacture products using materials and processes that favor certain political constituencies, you can be awarded the "green" label.  

Purchasing a Prius, eating at a restaurant that has napkins and tablecloths made of recycled tampons, or eating Locavore bananas grown in a greenhouse with a bigger carbon footprint than Al Gore's house - none of these things do diddly squat to protect the environment.  The costs and environmental impacts of greenie production are so ridiculous and so expensive that they defeat the purpose.  "Green" is nothing but marketing with a light sprinkling of Ultra-Wholesome Big Brotherism.
It makes you feel better and creates more power for Uncle Sam.   

As these aren’t administrative laws from the EPA per se, trucks that don’t fit this new “green” standard, which is meeting at least 2007 EPA emissions levels, are still allowed to operate throughout the country. But each of the major port authorities won’t let them in if they don’t fit the new environmental regulations, which would force many independent truckers out of business if they resist since many truckers depend on business from the ports to survive.

Most of this silliness is centered around the Port Of Long Beach, California.  Getting a truck in and out of California now requires about as much hassle, paperwork and graft as getting a Chinese orphan out of Beijing. 

My employer, Jukt Micronics, recently opened a West Coast warehouse.  West Coast, West Coast, West Coast....what city did we choose?  L.A.?  San Francisco?  Sacramento?  San Diego?  

Nope.  Phoenix, Arizona.  My employers are not silly people, despite being educated at Baylor University.  Nobody in his right mind would open something in California under current conditions. 

Alex Cherin, an attorney who represents a trucker advocacy group opposed to these forced unionization attempts, told The Daily Caller the Teamsters have been trying to get independent truckers classified as employees of a company for years because “under federal labor law, they [the Teamsters] cannot unionize independent contractors.”

“They [the Teamsters] see this as their window of opportunity,” Cherin said in a phone interview. “They know that most drivers want to stay independent contractors to keep their freedom, but that many can’t afford these new ‘green trucks.’ They want to piggyback their agenda onto an environmental initiative.”

There is is again.  The Baptists And Bootleggers thing.  In this case, the Teamsters are the Bootleggers and the Environmentalists are the Baptists.  Here's an explanation:

The bootleggers like prohibition because it gets rid of competitors. But a politican who wants to listen to the bootleggers needs a more high-minded cause to sell to the public. The Baptists give the politicians cover with the argument that drink is from the devil—it leads to social unrest, unemployment, higher social costs and so on.
If you buy into the idea that carbon emissions are evil, then no one other organization emits more evil than the Teamsters.  But they're claiming to fight evil by keeping the independent truckers out of the ports. 

You gotta love it. 

Cherin said the Teamsters has been pushing unionization more and more lately, and it has “really heated up with the ‘green trucks’ program.” He said that the air in Southern California is cleaner as a result of the program, but that this is really a unionizing effort disguised in a “green” initiative.

Americans for Limited Government spokesman Rick Manning said this effort is definitely driven by labor unions, especially since the leader of the Teamsters, Jimmy Hoffa, Jr., is pushing it.

Aw that makes it all better, doesn't it?  When I think of "wholesome", "green", and "little Disney bluebirds flitting about my recycling bin", I can't help but think of the Hoffas, and I hope that Jimmy Senior is now composting nicely.   

Hoffa, Jr., the current president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and son of the infamously “disappeared” union boss Jimmy Hoffa, alluded to his real intent with the program while advocating on behalf of the new “green truck” rules in a Huffington Post blog.

“We want the trucking companies to buy and maintain clean new trucks,” Hoffa, Jr. wrote in March 2010.

Oh for God's sake.  Just because the demon spawn of Jimmy Hoffa wants me to buy new trucks doesn't mean I should have any obligation to do so.  Folks, I can get your crap delivered from Point A to Point B at less cost with the tractors I already have. 

And please spare me any of the "green" bullshit that they're using to justify these power grabs.  If the American trucking industry were to allow you to run out of, say, toilet paper for three days?  You would burn Al Gore at the stake, and not think twice about the environmental impact of the grease fire.  
One little product shortage is all it would take to end this entire farce.  Lord hasten the day.     

“We also want them to pay their truck drivers a fair wage and the employment taxes that go with it."

If I can find a driver willing to haul a load for the amount that I'm willing to pay, then that's a "fair wage".  I don't need the rent-seeking bastard of Jimmy Hoffa telling me what is and isn't right. 

The trucking companies would prefer the federal government protect them from those obligations.”

Who died and left Jimmy Hoffa in charge of my obligations?  Do you have an obligation to pay your yard service, your baby sitter, the guy who changes your oil, your grocery store, your drug dealer, etc. a "fair wage"?  Yeah.  You pay them as little as the market will bear.  That's the fair wage  When they want more, you start checking out competitors.  That's what people do.  That's what Jimmy Hoffa, Barack Obama, Joehn Boehner, The Pope, and Oprah do.   

These new “green trucks” cost more than $100,000 and, to meet the “green” requirements, truckers have to join companies and, by extension, the Teamsters union.

That is stretching it just a little.  Truckers don't "have to join companies".  Yet.  But to meet the massive regulatory burden it's very difficult for an independent trucker to make it these days.  Go here to learn about Uncle Sam's latest regulatory brain fart called CSA 2010.   This thing makes driving across town the equivalent of a genius level Sudoku puzzle. 

The government has had to delay implementation of CSA 2010 for at least a year because they can't get their computer systems to work properly. 

The trucking industry, however, will be expected to comply immediately when the government is ready.  Lots of independent truckers will give up and go work for Jimmy Hoffa.  After all, he's the one who is getting what he paid for

That's the end of my rant.  I feel better now. 

The pics of the kickbacks came from here.  The hostility toward unions came from working at with the union guys at trade shows here.   The Daily Caller's main page can be found here.  My hostility toward the Teamsters evolved slowly.  It would've happened quicker except for the influence of my friend Frank.  A couple of the other Teamsters at Frank's company require three attempts to back up to a toilet, much less a freight dock.   


John Jay Myers said...

I heart Allen Patterson

kerrcarto said...

"Green" the new Red.

TarrantLibertyGuy said...

Greeno is the new Pinko

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Investment is the new Pork.

Tim Lebsack said...

The greenest fuel is the least expensive fuel - petroleum.

This wasn't true a century ago and may not be true a century from now but I am supporting the environment and staying green.