Union Propaganda machine goes full tilt, but, statistics don’t lie. The opposition does

Mexican cross border hauler checking through security
We’ve had a weekend since Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood released the “Concept Document” enabling the United States to finally uphold their obligations under the NAFTA agreement.

Reaction has been overwhelmingly positive to the release of the plan with opposition coming from the usual irrelevant sources, as predicted.

Immediately, the opposition chimed in citing job losses, unsafe trucks, and a variety of other baseless assumptions. Baseless because in the 15 years of opposition to allowing Mexican carriers to operate in this country, OOIDA and the TEAMSTERS have offered no concrete evidence to back up their claims. Why? Because none exists.

There does exist data that thoroughly debunks their claims of job losses and Mexican carriers coming in and undercutting US Truckers.

THE MYTH THAT MEXICAN TRUCKS WILL COST AMERICANS JOBS

Numbers don’t lie. According to FMCSA Summary Statistics for U.S. DOT Active Motor Carriers these numbers show how it is statistically and logically impossible for Mexican carriers to have any impact on US truckers jobs.

Active Carriers with U.S. DOT Number

United StatesMexicoCanada
717,91915,19322948


As you can see from these numbers, The United States has 48 times more motor carriers than Mexico.  These companies have the following number of power units registered with the USDOT.

Power Units registered by Country

United StatesMexicoCanada
4,567,43945,571130,325

Again, the United States beats out Mexico by 100 times the power units registered to operate on US highways. But we go on with the numbers and look at the number drivers employed by interstate motor carriers and HM intrastate motor carriers with an active U.S. DOT number.

Drivers employed by interstate motor carriers and HM intrastate motor carriers with an active U.S. DOT number

United StatesMexicoCanada
4,706,85737,799139,415

Once more, a very large disparity between Mexico and the United States (1000%) in number of drivers available.

We can go on to break it down further, looking at the Mexican carriers with OP-2 authority. That is the authority granted to Mexican carriers who engage in border drayage operations.

These statistics for this class of operation is:

Mexican carriers with OP-2 authority (Drayage)

MEXICAN CARRIERS w/ OP-2 AUTHORITY8,030
NUMBER OF POWER UNITS30,480
NUMBER OF DRIVERS 27,544

So taking all these numbers pertaining to Mexican operators, adding them together, you still come up way short of Mexico in any way being a threat to the American trucker or their jobs or livlihood. It simply is not possible. Even if Mexico was willing to bring every one of these trucks and drivers mentioned here into the US to haul freight back to Mexico, (and that would never happen) we still have them beat hands down.

And you have to realize also, American truckers and their companies have no problem hauling $.85 cpm freight. Try getting a Mexican carrier to do that.

DEBUNKING ONCE AGAIN, OPPONENTS CLAIMS OF “UNSAFE MEXICAN TRUCKS”

This is a table of Summary Inspection Statistics for 2010 taken from the FMCSA website

Summary Statistics of Inspections

United StatesMexicoCanada
INSPECTIONS2,318,102192,19370,350
DRIVER INSPECTIONS2,246,634191,74369,974
DRIVER OOS RATE5.7%1.3%4.8%
VEHICLE INSPECTIONS1,546,998174,10737,500
VEHICLE OOS RATE19.8%16.5%10.5%
HAZ MAT INSPECTIONS142,2655,4012,780
HAZ MAT OOS RATE4.6%2.1%4.3%
CVSA DECALS ISSUED452,60332,77010,964

Let’s take it a little deeper and look at the Compliance Reviews or audits performed. These are generally where the Federal or State Inspectors go into the carriers place of business and wreak hell for a few days examining logs, maintenance records and the carriers compliance in general.

Summary Statistics of Compliance Reviews

United StatesMexicoCanada
COMPLIANCE REVIEWS10,805124158
SATISFACTORY6,40984121
CONDITIONAL2,0963224
UNSATISFACTORY21831
NOT RATED2,082512

And finally, perhaps the most important numbers in debunking the ludicrous claims of the Teamsters concerning unsafe trucks and their drivers. Traffic Enforcement statistic and Crash Statistics.

Traffic Enforcement Statistics concerning NAFTA Trucks

United StatesMexicoCanada
MOVING VIOLATIONS165,3763074,636
DRUG AND ALCOHOL1,206443
RAILROAD CROSSING30033
MISCELLANEOUS463,5063,8596,234

Drug using, reckless, unsafe Mexican truck drivers? I think not Mr Hoffa.

And finally, the crash data**

Commercial Motor Vehicles Crashes

# of CMV's involved in:United StatesMexicoCanada
CRASHES72,80133 1,004
FATAL CRASHES1,910019
NON-FATAL CRASHES70,89133985
INJURY CRASHES28,87211320
TOW-AWAY CRASHES42,01922665


Data Source: FMCSA Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS) September 24, 2010 snapshot. In addition, the following MCMIS census file snapshots were used for cross-referencing carrier information: December 23, 2005, December 22, 2006, December 21, 2007, December 19, 2008 and September 24, 2010.
*Driver OOS rate is based on inspection levels I, II, III and VI.
Vehicle OOS rate is based on inspection levels I, II, V and VI.
HM OOS rate is based on inspection levels I, II, III and VI when HM is present.
** There is one other table that you can see by following the link to this information. I did not include it because it was redundant and suspect. The numbers for fatalities and injuries in this column are the same across all three countries, which is a statistical impossibility.

THE REST OF THE STORY

In 1999, Teamsters President James Hoffa hired a gonzo journalist by the name of Charles Bowden to get “the goods” on Mexican truckers. The NAFTA Trucker: Investigative Reporter Charles Bowden’s Story in the November 1999 Issue of The Teamster Told of Exploited, Exhausted, Unsafe Mexican Truck Drivers, exactly what how Hoffa wanted them to be portrayed. Nonwithstanding the fact, that the story is a well written little piece, it has very little basis in reality. But Hoffa has used this as the only evidence to back his unfortunate claims of “unsafe Mexican trucks, unsafe drivers and no regulations”.

The story has since been removed, but you can still read it here. And realistically, had there been any truck to the allegations Bowden made in his article, does one not think things have changed over the past 12 years?

Let’s take a look at OOIDA’s baseless claims. They recently issued a “Call To Action” for their members to foist their bullshit off on their Congress critters in an attempt to once again, derail implementation of our NAFTA obligations.

In part, their CTA used a 9/9/2007 article in the San Antonio Express-News titled “Mexican truck rolls into the US and the history books,”

The top, experienced Mexican drivers make 13 cents per mile and a $20 per diem. You would be kidding yourself if you think a large scale pilot program won’t significantly affect you. At the very least it will weigh down rates, but it will also very likely impact the availability of loads as shippers and brokers move towards the significantly reduced transportation costs that Mexican truckers will offer

OOIDA uses this to try an illustrate their indefensible position that the wages of Mexican drivers enables their companies to undercut US Truckers. They fail to realize or acknowledge that while wages are lower than ours, that that is not the only compensation a Mexican trucker receives. In addition to wages and separate per diem, their employers pays into the Mexican Social Security Sytem, (IMSS) insuring the driver and his family has health care at IMSS hospitals free are at a very minimal cost. In addition to that, paid vacation time mandated by Mexico’s Ministry of Labor, and a year end bonus equal to a month’s salary, raises the bar considerably The majority are also qualified for mortgages through INFONOVIT in most cases.

These are the talking points of misinformation they want the public to believe, according to Angel Burnell of OOIDA:

  1. The burden should be on Mexico to raise the regulatory standards of their trucking industry, not on the U.S. to lower ours or find ways to accommodate their trucking companies and drivers.
  2. Every year, U.S. truckers are burdened with new safety, security and environmental regulations. Those regulations come with considerable compliance costs. Mexico-domiciled trucking companies and drivers do not contend with a similar regulatory regime in their home country nor must they contend with the corresponding regulatory compliance costs that burden U.S. truckers.
  3. To date Mexico has failed to institute regulations and enforcement programs that are even remotely similar to those in the United States.
  4. To ensure the safety and security of U.S. citizens, Mexico-domiciled trucking companies and truck drivers must be required to comply with the same level of safety, security and environmental standards that already apply to U.S.-based companies and drivers, NOT ONLY WHILE OPERATING IN THE U.S. BUT ALSO IN THEIR HOME COUNTRY.
  5. Without a level playing field with Mexico, thousands of U.S. jobs will be lost if a cross-border trucking program is initiated at this time.

Let’s take these point for point, including the blatant lies within their positions.

  1. The United States has no right, nor authority to tell Mexico how to run their transportation system. What they have in place, works for them and works well. Mexican carriers have been, are complying and will be required to comply with the exact same standards of safety and regulation as US and Canadian carries are required to do. The idea of “The United States lowering their standards is ludicrous and designed to raise the anger of US drivers.
  2. While the cost of regulatory compliance is difference in both countries, Mexican drivers have their own set of costs, taxes, interest rates that are higher than ours in the US. In addition, those carriers who choose to operate in the United States, will incur additional costs to do so. The same costs as a US trucker in addition to compliance costs in their home country will put a burden on the Mexicans equal to what we endure.
  3. This is a blatant lie. Mexico has their own regulatory programs, safety programs and is a full partner in the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) which sets the standards for North American Commercial Vehicle Inspections. And while Mexico’s regulations are simple and common sense, and the drivers who operate under them are expected to display personal responsibility for their actions, in many ways, Mexico’s regulations are superior to ours.
  4. Again, the US has no authority or right to make such an outrageous demand. Mexican carriers, trucks and drivers will be required to comply 100% with the same standards as apply to us and the Canadians when they cross the border into this country.
  5. This is laughable. Read again the tables earlier in this post. The US is in a position to totally absorb the Mexican trucking industry by sheer numbers.

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