' rel='shortcut icon'/>

Amber Alert

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Teamsters Say 'Don't Whitewash Border Crash Investigation

The Teamsters Union urges the Bush administration to fully investigate the fiery border crash that involved two Mexican trucks on Thursday -- and to tell the public exactly what happened and why. According to news reports, two tractor-trailer trucks with Mexican license plates crashed and burst into flames on a bridge linking Reynosa, Mexico and Pharr, Texas, on Thursday night. Four people died and six were injured.

"We've been saying for years that Mexican trucks are not as safe as American trucks," said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa. "We're concerned the Bush administration will cover up what happened because it wants to protect its illegal and reckless project to open the border to Mexican trucks."

The Bush administration claims it can track all the trucks involved in its pilot project using satellite tracking technology that cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"Will the Bush administration come clean on exactly what caused the latest deadly accident involving trucks from Mexico?" Hoffa said.

A federal law took effect on Dec. 26 that bans funding for the Bush administration's program to allow long-haul trucks from Mexico to use American highways. In brazen defiance of that and other laws, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) refused to shut down the pilot project.

"The Senate voted to stop this program just after a Mexican truck loaded with ammonium nitrate was involved in a crash that killed 34 and injured 150," Hoffa said.

"How many people have to die before the Bush administration takes highway safety seriously?" Hoffa said.

The Teamsters believe the pilot program creates a dangerous precedent on American highways because Mexican trucks and truck drivers are not held to the same safety standards as their U.S. counterparts.

The Teamsters and other safety advocates challenged the legality of the program in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. A hearing date is set for Feb. 12.

Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents more than 1.4 million hard-working men and women in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

SOURCE International Brotherhood of Teamsters