Thursday, September 13, 2007

Mexican Truckers and the Teamsters

Just some thoughts on this much ado about the Mexican trucks that are about to imperil everyone on the Nation's highways.

To me, and I'm a Teamster Local 264, it seems like more of a symbolic issue than a real issue. It's an issue because Democrats have to repay the Teamsters for their support year in and year out.

Otherwise it doesn't seem like much of an issue. The column above cites that its probable that Mexican trucks are marginally safer than U.S. trucks! This is made mention because that is how the debate is framed most often -- Unsafe Mexican truckers & safety standards aren't on par with U.S.

If there is parity on safety, as mentioned in the USA Today story, then the real issue is how to give something to the teamsters as a quid pro quo.

I'm not ignorant of the job issue and herein lies another symbolic battle. This one is for my benefit.

If you go to the web site you'll be greeted by an array of flags on the bottom of the site from different countries in the world. While I realize that those flags are placed by the translation service, the Teamsters themselves are an international brotherhood.

If that is correct, as it is, and if they proudly print in their monthly magazine international union triumphs, as they do, then its a tad bit odd to see them fighting their international brethren.

Obviously, not all the truckers are Teamster coming up out of Mexico, but wouldn't the ones that are benefit from longer hauls?

But no, I don't buck the Teamsters position on this issue, they are suppose to be fighting for my selfish benefit. . . .

The rub I do have with the Teamsters is this, they only pay off one type of politician. This isn't good. They are susceptible to emotional arguments. Example given.

This NAFTA/trucker issue is 15 years old. The politicians they pay have no threat of losing the money they gladly take, so they have taken 15 years, so far, to really confront this issue. Lets settle this and put it to bed.

Let the Mexicans drive in, or not. Then lets move on.

The smart money in business pays off both sides and you never hear them gripe, one sided organizations always seem to gripe, and often get little in return from their investments.

Want more proof that the Teamster/Democrat relationship isn't healthy? Bill Clinton, Democrat, signed NAFTA. Yet he continued to receive the support of the Teamsters. As does his wife.

But, for my benefit, the Democrats and Teamsters have chosen to vilify Mr. Bush's NAFTA, never Mr. Clinton's, and for this I repay them with my vote?

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