Jim Hoffa, general president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) is no doubt a busy guy, especially these days what with a challenging freight environment impacting the union's rank and file (and, yes, all of trucking), serious concern over hours-of-service reform or lack thereof, not to mention everything that must go in to the negotiations for new freight agreements with carriers.
But he is also committed to stopping Mexican trucks from rolling across the border and made his point in person earlier this month. According to the Teamsters, the union rallied with Hoffa right up front at the Otay Mesa border crossing near San Diego on December 5th to show they oppose "letting unsafe trucks from Mexico drive on U.S. highways."
Exercising the right to free speech at the border
Hoffa declared that, "Mexican drivers don‘t have the mandatory training that U.S. drivers have. Mexican drivers don‘t have to meet the same strict drug-testing requirements that U.S. drivers do. Mexican drivers don‘t have to comply with U.S. rules on how long they can drive. So someone could drive 10 hours in Mexico before arriving at the U.S. border and then drive another 11 hours inside the United States, even though U.S. rules don‘t allow 21 hours of driving.
"I totally reject the argument that the Teamsters are against Mexican truck drivers,” Hoffa added. “We are against the companies that exploit them and the governments that don‘t live up to their responsibilities to make sure the highways are safe.”