House Democrats will introduce two federal bills Thursday aimed at cracking down on port trucking companies that have for years exploited their workforce with lease-to-own contracts that forced drivers to work around the clock for pay that sometimes dipped to pennies on the hour.
The measures come in response to a USA TODAY Network investigation that revealed truckers were working as modern-day indentured servants while hauling goods for America’s retail giants.
The Port Drivers’ Bill of Rights Act of 2017 lays out basic work standards for port truckers, including fair pay, protection under labor laws, and freedom from “exploitative truck lease or rental arrangements,” according to a draft obtained by USA TODAY Network. …
But no one expects the bill to pass easily in a Republican-led House that has largely panned labor protections for truckers in the past.
“It’s going to take a lot of people,” said freshman Nanette Barragán, another sponsor who also represents the Port of Los Angeles. “If this leads to a conversation, then I think that’s a good thing too.” READ MORE