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12/17/2013 11:15:00 AM Write a Letter to the Editor Write a letter to the Editor

N.Y. Trucking, Union Advocates Push Cuomo to Sign Contractor Bill by Dec. 31 Deadline

The New York State Motor Truck Association and the Teamsters have sent a joint letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) urging him to sign a private contractor bill supported by the truckers and labor.

Under state law, Cuomo has until Dec. 31 to sign or veto the bill — the New York State Commercial Goods Industry Fair Play Act — passed by the House and Senate in June. A third option is for the governor to allow the bill to become law without his signature.

Cuomo spokesman Richard Azzopardi would not say which way the governor is leaning.

The truckers and Teamsters said in their Dec. 13 letter that the measure “redefines” the definition of an employee in the trucking industry.

“This will protect commercial goods transportation employees from wrongful misclassification that results in severe financial difficulty and loss of wages,” said the letter signed by Kendra Hems, NYSMTA president, and George Miranda, president of the Teamsters Joint Council 16.

“This legislation also creates a fair playing field for those trucking industry employers that classify their workers correctly and are having to compete against those companies that do not,” Hems and Miranda said in the letter.

The truckers and the Teamsters said in the letter that they “worked hard to find common ground” that ensures the bill protects legitimate contractors and correctly classifies workers who are employees.

Hems said she does not know what the governor will do. “Long story short, it’s still in limbo,” she said.

Michael McKeon, spokesman for the Teamsters council, described the union as “patient but confident” that Cuomo would let the bill become law.

The original private contractor bill introduced this year drew heavy opposition from truckers because the measure was drafted largely to address the issue in the construction industry, Hems said. With the truckers and Teamsters cooperating, she added, the bill was tailored to address the issue within the trucking industry.

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By Michele Fuetsch
Staff Reporter

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