The International Brotherhood of Teamsters is putting its political muscle behind the “Truthful Reliable Understanding of Consumer Costs” or TRUCC Act introduced in April and sponsored by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), that would guarantee that non-union truckers who pay for fuel be reimbursed the full amount of any surcharge levied by shippers.

The Senate bill matches the one introduced May 6 by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), and co-sponsored by Rep. Thomas Petri (R-WI) and Rep. Brad Ellsworth (D-IN), which also seeks to mandate 100% pass-through of fuel surcharges to whoever actually buys the fuel.

“Non-union owner-operator truck drivers are going broke because of fuel prices,” said James Hoffa, the Teamster’s general president, in a press statement. “Since they’re the ones paying for diesel, they’re the ones who should be reimbursed for the entire amount of any fuel surcharge.”

“This bill will go a long way toward helping truckers and their shipping customers weather the brutal cost of fuel,” said Todd Spencer, executive vp of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), which is also supporting the measure.

“Fuel surcharges have been a staple in the industry as a way that trucking companies can recoup the high cost of fuel. And now with skyrocketing fuel prices, more and more is being collected – but not passed on,” Spencer said. “It’s all too common for middlemen in the trucking industry to push shippers to pay fuel surcharges, but only pass along a portion of those surcharges to the truckers who are actually hauling the freight and paying the fuel bill.”

“This bill won’t affect our members because their employers pay for fuel directly,” Hoffa noted. “Still, we stand in solidarity with truck drivers struggling to make ends meet because they have to bear the entire financial burden of owning and operating their vehicles.”

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