Sanders Wants Crackdown on Companies That Don't Pay Drivers Living Wage

November 13, 2017

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Photo: Office of Senator Bernie Sanders
Photo: Office of Senator Bernie Sanders

Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT) wants the U.S. government to only provide federal contracts to trucking companies that pay workers a living wage and benefits, he stated in a letter President Trump last week.

In the letter, he cites a controversial USA Today report that described the plight of certain independent-contractor drivers working at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach who worked to pay off truck leases and took home little pay. Sanders urged President Trump to sign an executive order that would deny government contracts and subcontracts for trucking companies that misclassify workers as independent contractors, force workers to lease the trucks they drive, and engage in abusive labor practices.

Sanders also suggested that the Labor Department audit its current contracts and subcontracts awarded to port trucking companies to ensure they are in compliance with the wage and labor requirements of the McNamara – O’Hara Service Contract Act.

“This should not be happening in the United States of America,” Sanders states in the letter. “Truck drivers are the backbone of the American economy. They deserve to be treated with respect and dignity, not like modern-day indentured servants.”

Democrats on Capitol Hill have given extra attention to alleged labor and wage abuses at America’s ports since the USA Today expose ran earlier this year. In late October, Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-CA) and Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) introduced two bills aimed at addressing labor and environmental issues at the ports.

However, port trucking companies and stakeholders have maintained that the cases outlined in the USA Today story were too extreme and not representative of industry practices.

They’ve also characterized it as part of an attempt to unionize labor at the ports by the Teamsters Union. The union has organized several driver strikes at ports over the past few years to protest what it says is a misclassification of drivers as independent contractors in order to forego paying proper wages and benefits.


  1. 1. RaginBull69 [ November 17, 2017 @ 04:55AM ]

    Bernie Sanders would have been a better candidate for President than Donald Trump! Bernie fights for the people, Trump only cares to make money off the people... he won’t do nothing about it.

  2. 2. Occulus [ November 17, 2017 @ 06:16AM ]

    Trump does what the zionists tell him to do, I’m sure it pays handsomely

  3. 3. Meandor Between the Seas [ November 17, 2017 @ 08:38AM ]

    How do we send important information to Sanders. The whole eld hoo haa is predicated on the unequitable pay and irregular hours of the current hos. Mandating a digital straight jacket is like the saying: "the beatings will continue until morale improves"

  4. 4. les gvt [ November 17, 2017 @ 11:17AM ]

    What is a lving wage? in much of the midwest and plains rent/mortgages for nice big homes is $600/month at most- in NYC, Boston and San Fran that would not rent you a broom closet
    By "demanding" a living wage Sanders is implying the people do not have the freedom to leave a company and work elsewhere that pays better or has better benefits. This is the fallacy of his arguement, because if a company wants to stay open- they will pay what is required to keep employees.

  5. 5. les gvt [ November 17, 2017 @ 11:22AM ]

    Don't forget- Sanders supports open borders and more immigration. This drives DOWN the wages because it creates a larger supply of labor for the same number of jobs- that means it is much easier for employers to pay less. The man is a total hypocrite that has NEVER held a private sector job.
    n But don't worry- he has no problem with the taxpayers footing the bill for his $165,000 Audi

  6. 6. Stanley L Shughart [ November 17, 2017 @ 11:58AM ]

    This from a man who while was stumping for the presidency made the comment that he wanted to get all the trucks off the road... remember that? This doddering old fool isn't for the working man, all he is trying to do is gain political capital on the backs of the men and women out here busting our backs to make a living. Get it straight. The politicians DO NOT CARE ABOUT US

  7. 7. Richard Graham [ November 18, 2017 @ 04:56AM ]

    With all due respect to Senator Bernie Sanders, I think he should stop pushing his socialist agenda in our USA and simply move to another country if he doesn't like the foundation we were built on.

  8. 8. Richard Davis [ November 19, 2017 @ 03:55PM ]

    Good for Bernie. But it should not be just for the port drivers, who haul out of union ports. I say if you work for a union, you are in good shape. If you are not union and have to deal with unions, you are in trouble. Union workers are some of the laziest workers out there. The union made them that way. What about the Government paying a living wage on some of the Government freight. Some of these military loads are pretty cheap. Drivers should get paid for every little thing they do. Yes, I mean for sleeping, not just in Ca. and yes that is part of the job, but. Things have changed, these ELDs, have or will change everything. Drivers need to be paid for every minute once their 14 hr. clock starts. Other than personal time, eating, showering. If they are waiting to be loaded, unloaded, fueling or waiting for another load, they should be paid.

  9. 9. Richard Davis [ November 19, 2017 @ 04:13PM ]

    Hey there, les gvt, Stanley Shughart and Richard Graham how is the Trumpster working out for you three and everyone else that voted for him. I guess you all still believe every word he says? You think Trump is for the working people? If you do, you are about as smart as you sound. Not very. Do you know for a fact, that Bernie drives a 165,000 audi. It is a fact that the American people are going to PAY FOR THE WALL, that lying Trump said Mexico was going to pay for.

  10. 10. Bubba [ November 20, 2017 @ 07:32AM ]

    Who is forcing these truck drivers to do anything? Isn't choice one of our most cherished freedoms as Americans? If they don't like their opportunity, go work for someone else? Good grief, the unions couldn't have written a better article for USA Today. What a crock...

  11. 11. ChatiPatti [ December 19, 2017 @ 11:17AM ]

    Wait... Isn't this the same guy that wanted to abolish the entire trucking industry and replace is with a "state of the art railroad system"? It is! He's an idiot who had no understanding of finances or a shred of fiscal responsibility. Shut up and go going, Bernie. You're a socialist moron.


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