Influence of the Motor Carrier Act of 1980 on Teamsters' Employment
Testimony was given concerning the impact of regulatory reforms of the Motor Carrier Act of 1980 on truckers' employment. GAO reviewed recent testimony presented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters on the extensive layoffs among their union members since the passage of the act and discussed how deregulation has affected trucking service for small towns and small shippers. The act substantially reduced Government control of the trucking industry, making it easier for new carriers to enter the industry, eliminating certain restrictions placed on regulated carriers, and encouraging greater price competition among carriers. The total number of regulated motor carriers has continually increased since 1977. However, a number of trucking firms have failed because of the declining economy and competition. New carriers are in a strong position to attract business from established carriers which are unable to reduce their wage costs. The union found that there has been a substantial increase in the percentage of workers with seniority rights who are on layoff and many have been laid off for a long period of time. However, the union study did not say how many of the laid off workers had found other jobs. GAO found that this increase in layoffs and the decline in senior truckers' share of total trucking employment are consistent with expectations concerning the results of a lifting of entry and pricing restrictions. Despite a union allegation to the contrary, trucking deregulation has not adversely affected service to small communities and small shippers. Where service has changed, in most cases, these changes have benefited small communities and shippers.