Teamsters expand “frivolous” lawsuit against Mexican truck program

"Someone oughtta shoot that motherf*&#er! Let 'im organize the dead!" - Jimmy R. Hoffa (referring to his sons delusional opposition to Mexican trucks?)

Jimmy R. Hoffa (1913-1982), legendary leader of the Teamsters must be looking up from from the great beyond, shaking his head in disgust at the pathetic loser that bears his name, James P. Hoffa. Hoffa, re-elected by a minority of the Teamsters (Hoffa received 137,172 votes out of a membership of 1.4 million) rank and file to guide the once powerful International Brotherhood of Teamsters into further mediocrity, has chosen to hasten their descent by expanding their frivolous lawsuit against Mexican trucks.

Teaming up with so called “public interest” group PUBLIC CITIZEN and tree huggers SIERRA CLUB, they’ve expanded their frivolous and merit-less lawsuit filed back in September which failed to halt the implementation of the new cross border pilot program with Mexico.

“Opening the border to these dangerous, dirty trucks is an attack on highway safety, an attack on American truckers and warehouse workers, an attack on border security and an attack on our environment,” said the delusional little man, James Hoffa. “It’s outrageous enough that we’ve outsourced millions of jobs to foreign countries, but now we’re bringing foreign workers across the border into the United States to take our jobs. This is another pressure the American middle class doesn’t need.”

Hoffa and his cohorts are using the same baseless arguments as OOIDA did in a similar lawsuit filed in September in which a Federal Court denied OOIDA an injunction to stop the program, although allowing the suit to be fast tracked.

The Teamsters suit claims the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration breaks the following laws:

  • It waives a law that trucks must display certain proof that they meet federal safety standards.

(Not true. The pilot program requires trucks participating to be 1998 or newer and compliant to US EPA laws in effect at time of manufacture. An EPA sticker or declaration of compliance is required)

  • It breaks the law requiring the pilot program to achieve an equivalent level of safety because Mexican drivers don’t have to meet the same physical requirements as U.S. drivers.

(Medical requirements for Mexican drivers are more stringent than those for US drivers. The basis of this claim is Mexico only requires vision acuity of the color red, while the US requires Red, Yellow, Green, acuity. A minor difference)

  • It breaks the law that Mexico must provide simultaneous and comparable access to U.S. trucks. Mexico cannot do so because of the limited availability of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel in Mexico.

(NAFTA truck access rules require “equal access” for all three countries to one another. The ULSD claim is bogus as ULSD is widely available in border cities and major metropolitan areas in Mexico.)

  • It breaks the law that the pilot program must include enough participants to be statistically valid. The FMCSA’s proposal ensures that only the best Mexican trucks participate, which would allow it to justify letting any Mexican truck over the border in the future.

(Another bogus argument and because of this, Mexican carriers are hesitant to commit the money and other resources necessary to participate in the program until they are assured these bogus claims and lawsuits are a thing of the past.)

They also make the claim that FMCSA has not made the required Environmental Impact Assessment, which is patently false.

This is just more chest pounding and posturing by this irrelevant little media whore. Case law prevails on the environmental issue.

In 2002, Public Citizen sued the FMCSA claiming an environmental impact study was required before any effort could be made to open the southern border to Mexican trucks as required under our NAFTA obligations.

At that time, FMCSA prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA), but they did not prepare and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) as PUBLIC CITIZEN claimed was required by the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA).

The EA focused mainly on the environmental impact from doing more inspections, not on the impact from more trucks driving the roads.

Public Citizen sued to stop the possibility of cross border trucking until an EIS was prepared.Public Citizen argued that the increased number of trucks on US roads was liable to have a significant environmental impact, and therefore an EIS was required. There claim was that more than 30,000 older polluting trucks burning high sulphur diesel would have an impact on our environment.

The trial court found in favor of the defendent, FMCSA. The Trial Court found that although the FMCSA pilot program would result in more trucks, FMCSA did not have control over those trucks and therefore did not have to account for them in an EIS. Public Citizen went shopping and appealed to the liberal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

The Ninth Circuit ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, reversing the trial court. The Appellate Court found that the EA was deficient because it failed to give adequate consideration to the overall environmental impact from the Mexican trucks. Of course, FMCSA appealed, all the way to the United States Supreme Court.

The case was argued before the Supreme Court on April 21, 2004 with a unanimous verdict being rendered on June 7, 2004.

The US Supreme Court held that the FMCSA had no control of the trucks once the regulations governing the pilot program were passed, and would therefore be unable to act on the findings of an EIS even if it did conduct one.
FMCSA has no statutory authority to impose or enforce emissions controls or to establish environmental requirements unrelated to motor carrier safety.

The Court also found that the passage of the regulations was not sufficiently responsible for the increased pollution caused by the trucks to warrant an EIS.

Justice Clarence Thomas, the Courts most conservative Judge wrote the opinion which you can read here.

All other arguments seem to be without merit and simply a manner for the opposition to keep pressure on the Mexicans not to participate in the program, due to the uncertainty of it’s future.

Teamsters talk about job losses which will not occur yet they ignore the 25,000 private sector jobs lost due to the legal retaliatory tariffs Mexico imposed over our refusal to comply with our NAFTA obligations.

They choose to ignore also, that Mexico reserves the right, to re-apply the tariffs if in the slim chance, Hoffa, OOIDA, through their puppet Congress critters, is somehow able to put an end to the program. We see this newest attempt as going now where in the end.

And the delusional little man leading the Teamsters will push that once proud organization into further irrelevance, the same as Todd Spencer and Jim Johnston are doing with OOIDA in their opposition to this program.

Thinking back, Jimmy Hoffa was a corrupt but brutally honest man who kept his word. Damned shame his son is just the opposite.