Thursday, November 5, 2009

NY/NJ Port shippers see wolf in 'green' costume

A broad group of retailers and other shippers are calling on the mayors of New York and Newark to withdraw their support for changes in federal law that they say would allow local regulators to bar independent owner-operators from harbor trucking.

The Journal of Commerce reported yesterday that "The 29 organizations, including the National Retail Federation and the National Industrial Transportation League, said they had “grave disappointment” with support the mayors announced Oct. 19 for the effort led by the Port of Los Angeles, which has targeted independent operators as part of its effort to limit truck pollution at the port. "

In a letter to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Newark Mayor Cory Booker, the organizations say they "fully support efforts by the ports, including the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, to improve their air quality."

The organizations argue that the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (and the NRDC) have been claiming that port trucking services should be exempted from federal preemption in order to improve air quality but that the union's real goal is "to eliminate competition from small independent businesses in favor of companies that the Teamsters believe could be more easily organized."

Among the organizations signing the letter were the New Jersey Motor Truck Association, the New Jersey Retail Merchants Association, the New York State Motor Truck Association, and the New York Shipping Association.

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