Truckers thank OSHA and FMCSA for addressing coercion together

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(August 1, 2014 - Grain Valley, Mo.) – The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and its members would like to thank the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for working out a memorandum of understanding to strengthen collaboration between the two agencies in protecting truck drivers from coercion to violate safety regulations.

Signing the memorandum will help both agencies cooperate regarding the anti-retaliation provisions of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA) by allowing the exchange of information on safety, coercion and retaliation allegations.

“It is our hope that by working more closely together, the two safety agencies can improve protections for truck drivers who are pressured by companies to violate safety regulations,” said Media Spokesperson Norita Taylor, Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association.

Under the agreement, FMCSA will refer employees who complain of retaliation to OSHA, and OSHA will provide FMCSA with copies of complaints filed and findings issued under STAA. The agencies will also report to each other annually on information shared during the previous year. The anti-retaliation and anti-coercion provisions in the STAA protects drivers and other individuals working for commercial motor carriers from retaliation for reporting or engaging in activities related to certain commercial motor vehicle safety, health or security conditions.

“It’s not only important for the safety of truck drivers that they feel confident in reporting coercion or other unsafe working conditions, but also important for public safety as well,” said Taylor.

The public, commercial drivers, motor carriers and other industry members may file a safety, service or discrimination complaint against a household goods moving company, bus or truck company, including hazardous materials hauler or a cargo tank facility, by calling toll free 888-DOT-SAFT (888-368-7238) from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, Eastern Time. Complaints may also be submitted through FMCSA’s National Consumer Complaint website.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is the only national trade association exclusively representing the interests of small-business trucking professionals and professional truck drivers. OOIDA was established in 1973 and is headquartered in the greater Kansas City, Mo. area. The Association currently has more than 150,000 members from all 50 states and Canada.

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