GBATS is back; plus the latest on AB5 and the PRO Act
August 12, 2021
“Live From Exit 24” shifted to a 7 p.m. start time for the Aug. 11 show, which featured a preview of the Guilty By Association Truck Show with Bryan Martin of 4 State Trucks as well as an update on AB5 and the PRO Act with host Mike Matousek, OOIDA Executive Vice President Lewie Pugh and Bryce Mongeon, OOIDA director of legislative affairs.
During the GBATS portion of the show, Martin provided a rundown of the upcoming event, which is scheduled for Sept. 23-25 in Joplin, Mo.
“Everybody is ready to get out, mix it up and have some fun come September in Joplin,” Martin said. “This started out as a customer appreciation day. What other truck show can you enter your truck at no cost and come out and spend the whole weekend?”
OOIDA has also had a hand in helping GBATS grow to what it is today, said Martin.
This year, big rig burnouts, diesel drag racing, stunts, truck and tractor pulls and fireworks are among the scheduled events, as is a free concert featuring Curtis Grimes and headlined by Joe Nichols.
“No way did we ever think it would get this big,” Martin said. “We want to make every upcoming GBATS a bigger and better experience than the last GBATS. We have to raise the bar.”
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Important distinctions between the PRO Act and AB5 were covered as Mongeon joined Matousek and Pugh via phone.
“Our concerns with them are the same, that it would upend the independent contractor model and upend the owner-operator model,” Mongeon said.
Uncertainty adds to the concern of these proposals.
“We don’t know what you have to do to be compliant,” Pugh said. “There’s talk of going back to the two-check system, but nobody really knows. Until we see what you have to do to be compliant, I’m not a fan of this at all. At this point, the safest drivers are ones who have their own trucks, have their own authority, and have their own customers.”
There’s also the possibility of only parts of the PRO Act being passed.
“Reconciliation is the process Congress can use to basically bypass the filibuster in the Senate and pass a bill with a 50-vote majority,” Mongeon said. “But there’s a lot of stipulations on what can be included in that bill. You can only include things that have a direct impact on revenues to the federal government or spending by the federal government.”
As Mongeon interprets it, he believes it would be pretty difficult for the classification issue OOIDA is concerned with to be part of a reconciliation bill.
“It’s hard to imagine how changing the laws about how someone is classified would have a direct impact on tax money coming into the federal government or spending by the federal government,” Mongeon said.
Occupational accident coverage, workers compensation, employer-related taxes and more add to dilemma of the unknown.
“I can imagine someone saying, ‘I thought I was an employee, why am I not given these benefits,’” Mongeon said. “We just don’t have an answer.”
The regulation of lease-purchase agreements is also something that need to be seriously addressed, Pugh said.
“A lot of it comes down to who owns that truck,” Pugh said. “If it’s a lease-purchase deal and you quit, you don’t get to take the truck with you. If you’re leased to a carrier and you own or are purchasing the truck and you decide to quit, then you and your truck and your equipment can go somewhere else. And that’s a very big distinction.”
Misclassification, another layer, has been complicated by Uber, Lyft and the like.
“The owner-operator model has been around for decades,” Mongeon said. “They need to know what they are doing is affecting a much bigger group of people than they might be thinking of at first.”
On Aug. 9, the California Trucking Association officially filed its petition for their case against AB5 to be reviewed by the Supreme Court. Until the decision as to whether or not the case will be heard is made, AB5 will not be enforced on the trucking industry.
OOIDA talk show
“Live From Exit 24” is scheduled for 7 p.m. Central every other Wednesday. Listeners can tune in to the show on the Live From Exit 24 website, OOIDA Facebook page or on OOIDA’s YouTube channel. The next episode airs Wednesday, Aug. 25.
“Live From Exit 24” launched as a way to expand OOIDA’s communication with members and to hear directly from drivers across the industry. OOIDA is asking for truck drivers to fill out a survey to let the Association know how you are liking the show so far. Help guide what’s addressed during the program. The survey is here. LL