General President Says Teamsters Will Vigorously Oppose Dangerous Plan
WASHINGTON, April 11, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa said union members will vigorously oppose a dangerous plan to open the border to Mexico, a country ravaged by a drug war.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) outlined its proposal to open the border to Mexican trucks.
Hoffa said the Transportation Department's move shows reckless disregard for American jobs and for public safety as well as for the stewardship of U.S. tax dollars.
"Do Transportation Department officials read the news?" Hoffa said. "In the past week, eight people were killed in Ciudad Juarez within a half hour. A mass grave was discovered 80 miles from Brownsville, Texas, with 59 bodies in it. A federal prosecutor was kidnapped and murdered in Durango after she'd been on the job for a week. Five men were killed in Taxco during another kidnapping attempt.
"What is it about Mexico's drug violence that DOT doesn't understand?" Hoffa said.
"I also question whether DOT officials know that the official U.S. unemployment rate is 8.8 percent. This proposal threatens the jobs of thousands of American truck drivers and warehouse workers along the border.
"Finally, why should Americans pay for Mexican trucking companies to take their jobs? DOT is failing to protect taxpayers by proposing to spend scarce Highway Trust funds to put electronic on-board recorders on Mexican trucks. As if that isn't bad enough, we learn today that United States' tax dollars are being spent to put catalytic converters on Mexican trucks.
"A government's first duty is to protect its citizens. Unfortunately, DOT is failing miserably in that responsibility."
There is vast public support to keep the border closed and our nation's highways safe from dangerous trucks from Mexico. Congress has voted overwhelmingly to yank funding for previous cross-border trucking programs.
The DOT proposal will be published in the Federal Register this week, triggering a 30-day public comment period.
Founded in 1903, the Teamsters Union represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information.