Letters to the Editor

The NewStandard ceased publishing on April 27, 2007.

Teamsters Need New Approach to Mexican Truckers

Re: ‘Racism’ Seen in Liberals’ Opposition to Mexican Truckers, a news article by Michelle Chen

Friday, March 30, 2007

Michelle Chen has done a fine job of giving an overview of the issues involved in the controversy over Mexican truck drivers entering the United States. One can see from her article that the issue of Mexican trucks and truck drivers exists in a complex context: government trade agreements made to serve corporate interests, greedy employers who would exploit workers – whether in the United States or Mexico – and a Teamsters union that needs another approach to the issue.

Most of the Teamsters' problems after all are here in the United States, not in Mexico. If the Teamsters in the United States hope to protect themselves from government trade agreements and exploitative employers, then they need to do more than try to keep out Mexican truck drivers. The Teamsters union needs to oppose the conservative Republican business interests with which it has often been allied. The Teamsters union needs to re-organize the trucking industry, which it once dominated, and to reach out and organize owner-operators here. Most important for the issue under discussion, the Teamsters need a consistent position supporting legitimate Mexican unions and Mexican workers in a struggle for a better life. Just as union members and environmentalists can be powerful allies, so could Teamsters and Mexican workers be a powerful force for good in both countries.

–Dan La Botz
Cincinnati, Ohio

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The NewStandard ceased publishing on April 27, 2007.