The Daily Caller has another fascinating article about an Obama Administration policy that could give unions a membership boost:
By increasing the number of “green” requirements truckers have to comply with in order to get into some major United States ports — like Los Angeles, Long Beach and Oakland — the Obama administration and the Environmental Protection Agency are helping push previously independent truckers into companies, which then makes them vulnerable to unionization or, in many cases, forced to join a union. As these aren’t administrative laws from the EPA per se, trucks that don’t fit this new “green” standard, which is meeting at least 2007 EPA emissions levels, are still allowed to operate throughout the country. But each of the major port authorities won’t let them in if they don’t fit the new environmental regulations, which would force many independent truckers out of business if they resist since many truckers depend on business from the ports to survive.
And sure enough, the Caller goes on to quote a spokeswoman for a coalition of groups (including the Teamsters) saying she wants to stop the “misclassification” of truckers as independent contractors. Far better for distant labor leaders to decide truckers’ employment arrangements rather than truckers and trucking companies.
This is a story to watch for two reasons. First, it’s another example of the government stacking the deck in favor of labor unions, which look increasingly unable to survive without the feds. Second, it shows the continuing efforts by organized labor to co-opt the green movement and use it to gain members. As we’ve noted in the past, the Teamsters have embarked on a protracted effort to eliminate independent truckers — all under the guise of being “environmentally friendly.” Now they’ve enlisted the EPA in their scheme.