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Sweatshops on Wheels: Winners and Losers in Trucking Deregulation Hardcover – August 24, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0195128864 ISBN-10: 0195128869

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (August 24, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195128869
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195128864
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 6.3 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #213,599 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


"Is low pay in the trucking industry making the nation's roads unsafe [?] With the U.S. economy booming and the demand for drivers mounting, why haven't working conditions for truckers improved? [This book] argues that trucking embodies the dark side of the new economy."-"Sweatshops on Wheels," U.S. News and World Report


"Conditions are so poor and the pay system so unfair that long-haul companies compete with the fast-food industry for workers. Most long-haul carriers experience 100% annual driver turnover. The case for reform is made exhaustively [in] Sweatshops on Wheels."-- The Washington Post "The first credible cry in the wilderness describing the pitiful state to which the American trucking industry has fallen."--Land Line


"The cabs of 18-wheelers have become the sweatshops of the new millennium, with some truckers toiling up to 95 hours per week for what amounts to barely more than the minimum wage. [This book] is eye-opening in its appraisal of what the trucking industry has become."- Atlanta Journal-Constitution


"The first credible cry in the wilderness describing the pitiful state to which the American trucking industry has fallen."--Land Line


About the Author


Michael H. Belzer, a nationally-known expert on the trucking industry, is Associate Professor of Industrial Relations and Director of the Graduate Program in Industrial Relations at at Wayne State University and an assistant research scientist at the University of Michigan Institute of Labor and Industrial Relations. He is currently conducting two major government-funded research programs on truck safety. Prior to earning his Ph.D. at Cornell's School of Industrial and Labor Relations, he spent eight years as a Teamster driving a tank truck over-the-road.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Michael Belzer, for putting this book to print.
Natasha Flazynski
With the exception of the very first, and very negative review posted about this book, most of the comments from other truckers concerning this book are accurate.
The Cameraman
Economic deregulation, without safety fitness entry controls has been a miserable failure!
Kevin L. Sharpe

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 27, 2003
Format: Hardcover
A former career military man who has worked the most horrendous hours while on active duty, in combat and deployed around the world I lived for 22 years with the common mantra....."We have done so much with so little for so long that we are now attempting the impossible with nothing". I never thought I would be chanting the same mantra as a driver for one of the larger trucking companies in Utah. Thankfully I'm no masochist.
Being reassured that I was not being encouraged to 'cook the books' and being told that safety was foremost, I had to laugh. A former statistician by trade I am no novice at numbers. Many times I found that I was the 'only driver available', the load 'had to get through' I would have to drive a steady 86 mph through Ohio (speed limit of 55) to 'be on time'. This after just dropping off a load and getting ready to bed down for my DOT mandated sleep.
Not being able to 'take the load' branded me as not being a 'team player' and often resulted in my being overlooked when another load came through. You know, 'punishment'?
Receiving a none existing load assignment to a place that had moved then gone out of business three years before. Trying to verify that pickup and being told to 'just get there' when 'there' didn't exist? On LONG ISLAND??
Being from Texas, a drive through the home turf would have been appreciated now and then but I spent my time in the North East. A friend of mine from Pennsylvania was kept on an LA to Florida run. We were not allowed to switch runs.
After emergency surgery, I was told that I could take no convalescent leave since they (the company) were not there to take care of my 'personal vacation needs'.
Read more ›
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Kevin L. Sharpe on September 2, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Hurrah for Michael Belzer! He hit the nail on the head and now I hope American public opinion will drive it home! Belzer notes, that there have always been unique characteristics to the trucking industry that require economic, social and market regulation working in harmony in order to promote safety, and a reasonable standard of living for the participants. The smoking gun is open, unrestricted entry to the trucking business. It has resulted in under-financed companies operating 80,000-pound equipment at highway speeds in a society where aggressive competition drives the economy. That is simply bad public policy! When the freight rates drop below the cost of doing business, deferred maintenance becomes pandemic and that has created real social problems. Belzer stopped short of calling for economic regulatory controls as part of the only sensible solution, but I won't! Entry into the trucking business must require (continuing) proof of financial fitness to operate the equipment over the "long haul" in order to provide stability and safety. New under-financed entrants to the business who simply buy a truck and then try to operate on a shoestring in an environment where everybody's' front haul is somebody else's' back haul (read: non-compensatory, predatory and discriminatory freight rates) are a time bomb! The 22% national out of service rating for vehicles is proof enough for me! There is constant and unrelenting "churning" of entry and exit to the business, in an environment where just-in-time delivery, driver shortages, long hours, high speeds, irregular work hours, and unenforceable safety laws are the standard. Many of these same conditions existed in 1935, and resulted in the passage of national motor carrier regulation.Read more ›
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Natasha Flazynski on October 6, 2000
Format: Hardcover
My husband Russ has been an over the road truck driver for over 23 years now. This is the first book that actually pulls no punches with telling the truth on the trucking industry. This is the same truth that Russ has been telling me all these years as to why these are the most unhealthy, over worked and under paid workers in the most prosperous country in the world. Bravo! Michael Belzer, for putting this book to print. I highly recommend it! Natasha Flazynski, a truckers wife.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Blair LaMere on August 12, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a little "dry" at first, quoting a lot of facts and figures. which the novice may find intimidating. However, if you look closely, you can find the real reasons that an entire industry is in a "race to the bottom of the economic scale". Mr. Belzer points out quite accurately how a formerly middle class occupation has been destroyed. He also makes the point that de-regulation may not be the "cure-all" that everyone envisions. Is a few cents off that box of "Wheaties" worth destroying hundreds of thousands of formerly good paying jobs ? As a long time driver I found the book to be truthful and accurate.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 28, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I am 25 year survivor of the long-haul trucking racket, and can only say that the situation is substantially worse than Mr. Belzer asserts. I was finally forced out of the industry in 1998 for actively speaking out against the same types of abuse that he describes in his book. The trucking industry has it's own 'goon squad' that seeks to target, isolate and then eliminate anybody who dare speaks out against unsafe trucks, against coercion of drivers to run illegally and the sub-human wage scale that truckers are forced to labor under. And I don't just mean those companies that employ Teamster drivers, either. The non-union truckload carriers that clog our interstates can become even more vicious, once their crimes against drivers and the public are exposed. I found that I had been blacklisted, and I was being stalked by a small army of paid harassers, intimidators and threat-mongers. I was threatened with death, severe physical harm and other consequences if I ever mentioned the safety, logbook and other scams that occur on a regular basis in this crooked industry. I want to make clear that the DRIVERS are generally not the problem in the industry. It is the dispatchers, management and 'safety' departments of the major truckload companies that pose the greatest threat to the motoring public. Next in line are the major freight shippers - the huge soft drink, paper products, automotive, fresh produce, recycling and grocery distributors are among the worst abusers of the rights and safety of the long-haul trucker. Many times, a driver will have to wait 5 to 8 hours without pay (after all, he's not driving, so he doesn't get a dime for the delay)while some crack-smoking creep on a forklift who makes $19 per hour screws around for hours in a lame attempt to load the waiting driver's trailer.Read more ›
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