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Little-Noted Transportation Bill Provision Would Strip Some Drivers of Minimum Wage and Overtime

Dave Jamieson at The Huffington Post has spotted an unfair sneak attack in the House’s energy and transportation bill, HR7:

Listed in the bill under the heading “Technical Correction,” provision 6602 would exempt several companies who transport rail workers from their obligations under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the 1938 law that guarantees basic worker rights. The carveout would allow a handful of boutique contractors to pay no overtime to their drivers who haul rail workers between worksites, often driving long distances of 300 miles or more.

Jamieson contextualizes the wage situation of this niche of drivers with respect to safety:

Earnings for rail-crew drivers often work out to little more than minimum wage, and many drivers must remain on-call for long stretches. [CA Rep. Goerge] Miller and others worry that by depressing wages further, the quality of the work — and, hence, roadway safety — could decline. Miller is expected to offer an amendment to the bill this week that would maintain the labor protections for rail drivers.

Read Jamieson’s entire piece HERE.


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