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The CHAIRMAN. Senator Thurmond ? Senator THURMOND. Mr. Chairman, I may have some questions later. Not at this time.
The CHAIRMAN. The Senator from Ohio?
Senator LAUSCHE. Is it your belief that even though the railroads can carry these trucks from Kenosha, Wis., to California at a cost of $50 below what the truck can carry them, and that while so carrying it at that reduced cost the railroads can make a profit while charging to the services all reasonable expenses, that the railroad should not be permitted to do so if doing so will adversely affect the fiscal position of the truckers or the inland water carriers or the air carriers or the pipeline carriers ?
Mr. ROBILLARD. No. We say that the method of selecting or improving rates, the so-called selective rate cuts, if the rail had the compensatory costs plus the usual profits, surely it then becomes competitive, rail with the truck, and if they are lower at that time, of course, they would have the business. The only thing we feel is that if the rates are fair to both, and all costs are figured in there, rather than to cut it on one and raise it on another, that on a specialized haul such as this is there is no other place for the trucker of that motor transportation to go.
So that all we are asking is that we get a floor under the rates so that we know where we are at and our area of operation in which we would then be competitive with the rails. Whether we would be competitive on the long haul again I doubt seriously.
Senator LAUSCHE. You want a floor established on the rate that the railroads may charge, and that with that floor established you then say that you will be willing to compete?
Mr. ROBILLARD. I don't say that the floor is for the rails only. This is a transportation problem and all modes of transportation should be treated the same.
You don't pick one particular commodity, cut the price on that, and then raise it someplace else to compensate for what loss you are taking in order to put somebody out of business.
Senator LAUSCHE. Doesn't the present law take into consideration that factor, and isn't the Interstate Commerce Commission supposed to guard against the very thing about which you now complain! Mr. ROBILLARD. We assume that that is its function; yes. Senator LAUSCHE. That is its present function.
And you are claiming that the Interstate Commerce Commission, giving preferential treatment to the railroads, is not interpreting the law as it is now written?
Mr. ROBILLARD. Right.
Senator LAUSCHE. In other words, you say that the Interstate Commerce Commission is not performing its function?
Mr. ROBILLARD. In accordance, we believe, as to how the law is written, yes.
Senator LAUSCHE. When it starts rendering judgments in accordance with what the trucking industry says is the law, then you will believe that they are performing their function?
Mr. ROBILLARD. No, I don't say that
Senator LAUSCHE. Doesn't it lead to that? Mr. ROBILLARD (continuing). Is what the trucking industry says. I say interpreting the law is what we believe the law is written, as Congress has intended the law to read.
Senator LAUSCHE. You have discussed the loss of business suffered by the trucking industry. I have here a graph that was submitted by Mr. Morris Forgash, yesterday, showing that the ton-mile carriage of the railroads on all cargoes, freight, dropped from a percentage of 68 percent carried by the railroads in 1946 to 45 percent in 1959. That is, the railroads lost 23 percent of their business on freight in 13 years.
Didn't the railroads lose that business because the truckers, through their inherent advantage, and the airlines, on specific types of cargo through inherent advantage, were able to offer better service, which service, considering the charge made, was better than that of the railroads and therefore the railroads lost the business?
Mr. ROBILLARD. Senator, when you talk about percentages and reflect that in tonnage, the actual tonnage to the rails has increased, even though the percentage may have dropped.
Senator LAUSCHE. Oh, well, but that is not how you figure it.
Senator YARBOROUGH. Mr. Chairman, pardon my interruption. I regret I have to leave. I am a member of the Education Subcommittee and have a session to bring out the National Education Act. The call is urgent that we go there.
This is a very important measure. I am aware that it is pending. I received as many as 2,000 letters a day about this bill, so it is not through any lack of interest or knowledge that this is an important measure that I leave; but the other is, as the chairman of the committee knows, the request that we bring this bill out on the floor this week, and I am forced to leave. I regret it.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you. Senator LAUSCHE. Let us direct your attention first to the percentage approach, and then if you want to, later, we will get into the tonnage approach.
Mr. ROBILLARD. Senator, if I may interject, my primary purpose is to bring out what effect this has had on a local situation. As far as the tonnage percentage in rates, of course, we are told it is none of our business what the rates are from the union angle; that our problem is wages and conditions and so forth. So I would like to defer such questions until Mr. Zagri gets through with his questions. Mr. Zagri. I will go into this question in some detail.
Senator LAUSCHE. That is, you came here to testify on the impact it has had upon your workers. Mr. ROBILLARD. That's right.
Senator LAUSCHE. And you don't feel that you ought to discuss these other aspects of it; is that correct? Mr. ROBILLARD, Yes, sir. Senator LAUSCHE. OK. Senator COTTON. Mr. Chairman, just one question.
On page 2, your reference to the fact that the automobile dealer gets no reduction, that it goes to the shipper; on that statement, do you
know that to be universally true, or are you applying it to the American Motors Corp. plant in Kenosha in this initial operation ? Do you say that is universally true, and still true?
Mr. ROBILLARD. I would say that it is universally true because these drivers also trip-lease to other carriers that haul other traffic. They tell me that the price on the bill is the same today as what it was before.
It is rather difficult to get a bill or statement from the dealer because of the fact that he is a little afraid of having his franchise taken away from him in the event that he should say something he shouldn't be saying. The same thing holds true that when some of these dealers complain and say, “I would rather have my cars hauled by truck than I would by rail," they are told, “You take the merchandise the way it is delivered to you, and if you are not satisfied with it we will get ourselves a new dealer.”
So there are a lot of things involved here, and I think that possibly Mr. Zagri will cover that point.
The CHAIRMAN. I might say that the chairman received a call yesterday from the Studebaker Corp., which is in South Bend, Ind. They want to testify, and I think we can find out about this from them; and maybe American Motors would like to, too, or any of the other manufacturers, because we don't have any ready concrete evidence on these figures, and I think we ought to get it.
But we have had some dealers tell us that as far as they are concerned, the price of the car is the same. Whether that is true with everybody or not, I don't know.
Senator COTTON. Are you going to touch on that? Mr. ZAGRI. Yes, I am. Senator COTTON. Thank you. The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mr. Robillard. Now we will hear from Mr. Zagri, the legislative counsel of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen, and Helpers.
I at one time belonged to the Teamsters Union when it was the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, and Stablemen. I don't know whether I was a stableman or not. But they changed the name.
We will be glad to hear from you.
Mr. Zagri. We will be glad to issue an honorary membership if you don't have one now.
The CHAIRMAN. That was a long time ago, 35 or nearly 40 years ago.
Mr. ZAGRI. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee.
I would like to have permission to insert the prepared statement that I have here into the record.
The CHAIRMAN. We will put that in the record in full.
STATEMENT OF SIDNEY ZAGRI, LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL, INTERNA
TIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS, CHAUFFEURS, WAREHOUSEMEN, AND HELPERS, WASHINGTON, D.C.
Mr. ZAGRI. My name is Sidney Zagri, and I am privileged to appear on behalf of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters in my capacity as legislative counsel. I appreciate the opportunity of appearing before this committee and joining my colleagues in the trucking industry in support of S. 1197.
Senator McGEE. May I ask the chairman if we are going straight through and then go to questions?
The CHAIRMAN. I think that is better timewise.
The CHAIRMAN. You read your statement and we will go back to the questions.
Mr. ZAGRI. Unfortunately, the propagandists for the railroads have seen fit to confuse the real issues of S. 1197 by injecting the name of General President Hoffa as the issue in their campaign to “kill the bill.” I find it necessary to reply to some obvious misstatements of fact made by spokesmen for the railroads.
1. Clair M. Roddewig, president of the Association of Western Railways, appearing before a subcommittee hearing of the Senate Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee, Cheyenne, Wyo., stated :
We, in the railroad industry, think it (piggybacking) is good for the Nation's economy, but evidently Mr. Hoffa and his Teamsters Union would like to have Congress enact a law against it.
Senator LAUSCHE. Mr. Chairman, when was this hearing?
Senator McGEE. Held on the 10th of April in Cheyenne, at which I presided.
Senator LAUSCHE. All right.
Mr. ZAGRI. On April 9 General President Hoffa, in a national broadcast to 188 local unions and 170 cities, speaking on S. 1197, made the following statement:
This bill is not directed against piggybacking nor railroads. It is directed against selective ratecutting.
At a recent hearing before the House Subcommittee on the Impact of Automation, Executive Vice President Harold J. Gibbons of the IBT, stated the position of the international union regarding automation as follows:
Automation is not the problem. The problem is what we do with the fruits of automation. He told the subcommittee that the Teamsters Union has no quarrel with automation or other forms of technological progress when they are developed fairly and equitably.
2. Mr. Roddewig charges that Mr. Hoffa has imposed a freight charge of $5 per trailer for the purpose of “discouraging the trucking companies from having the cross-country portion of their hauling done by rail instead of by highway.” Nothing could be further from the truth. If piggyback is a form of technological advancement, as the railroads claim it is, then the $5 per trailer provision is simply
an effort on the part of the Teamsters Union to share with the motor carrier any savings which may accrue in the use of piggyback service. This per trailer fee will be deposited in a pension fund, which will ultimately result in reducing the retirement age of our membership of over-the-road drivers. Our purpose, then, is plainly not to discourage piggyback but to find job opportunities for young men by retiring truckdrivers at an earlier age under our pension program.
3. Mr. Roddewig and the other railroad propagandists falsely charge that this is a Hoffa-inspired bill. The facts do not bear them out.
The American Trucking Associations and the Federal Barge Lines issued a joint press release on April 28, 1961, stating:
In view of railroad propaganda efforts to obscure both the origin and the purpose of the proposed legislation, we want it known that the management side in both the motor carrier and water carrier industries are the primary advocates of the legislation. We are happy to say that we have the full support of the hard working employess of both industries who also recognize that the railroads are embarked upon a calculated effort to destroy their competitiors.
It is self-evident that the jobs of our members depend upon a healthy trucking industry, which in turn can only prosper as an integral segment of a strong, coordinated transportation system.
The transportation industry is responsible for the production of approximately $90 billion a year, representing one-fifth of the gross national product. Destructive rate practices not only adversely affect carriers and shippers, but also the entire transportation system. The subordination of the public interest to the selfish interest of any segment of this industry can have disastrous effects upon the entire economy.
In this respect I would like to say that the trucking industry may play an even more important part in the event that we have a future war, than it has played in past wars. I just noticed in yesterday's newspaper a release which says
Missiles fired from trucks: The United States is being urged to develop longrange missiles that can be fired from tanks or trucks. Missile trucks, Dr. Van Carmen actually called them autos, would range the Nation's highways which traverse far more sections of the country than do railroads, and missile tanks could travel over almost any terrain even where there are no roads. United States already has some missiles that can be launched from vehicles such as trucks
I simply want to point out that our interest in this matter is beyond that of jobs, but the interest of maintaining a strong, healthy, coordinated transportation system in times of peace and war.
I am certain that these tactics of the railroads in fighting this bill comes as no surprise to any member of this committee. The 74th Congress, through a subcommittee of the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, undertook an investigation of railroads, holding companies, and affiliated companies. The subcommittee was made up of Senator Burton K. Wheeler, of Montana, as chairman; Senator Alben Barkley, Senator Harry S. Truman, Senator Wallace White, and Senator Henrik Shipstead. Your subcommittee found that the railroads spent large sums of money in State and National Legislatures to restrict the trucking industry; established intricate spy systems to catch trucks and truckers in violation of the laws; set up vast intelligence systems for relaying information regarding truck