Protecting Overtime Pay
On August 23, 2004, two weeks before Labor Day, the Department of Labor implemented new overtime regulations that will eliminate overtime pay for up to 6 million of Americans. Many families depend on overtime pay to pay for their health insurance, their mortgage, and even their groceries.
Congressman Baca adamantly opposes cutting overtime pay. He is a cosponsor of the Overtime Protection Act, which would prevent the Department of Labor from slashing overtime pay. Overtime pay is an essential part of the income of millions of families and Congressman Baca continues to fight to make sure that families do not lose that income.
Opposing Mexican Trucks
Congressman Baca opposes allowing Mexican trucks to enter the United States. The U.S. Supreme Court recently decided that the Bush administration can allow tens of thousands of Mexican trucks on U.S. highways without conducting an extensive study of the environmental effects. The move ends a 1982 moratorium under which Mexican trucks have been able to operate only in certain narrow commercial border zones, where goods must be transferred to U.S. trucks for transport across the nation.
Older diesel Mexican trucks will have an impact on air quality in border states, especially in areas like Houston, the Inland Empire, and Los Angeles that have struggled to reduce pollution to comply with the federal clean air law. Mexican trucks make about 4.5 million border crossings each year. By 2010, trucks from Mexico will likely emit twice as much of certain pollutants as U.S. trucks. Congressman Baca has opposed the Mexican trucks entering the U.S. because of the potential rivalry they could pose to U.S. based trucking operations, and because of the environmental / air-quality impacts. The Inland Empire contains some of the state's worst violations of the Clean Air Act.
Employee Free Choice
Some 42 million U.S. workers say they would join a union if they could. But when workers try to get a by forming a union, some employers have responded with intimidation, harassment and retaliation. The Employee Free Choice Act ensures that when a majority of employees in a workplace decide to form a union, they can do so without the debilitating obstacles some employers now use to block their workers' free choice. Congressman Baca is proud to be a cosponsor of the Employee Free Choice Act, and even facilitated a briefing by Andrew Stern, President of the Service Employees International Union, to the Blue Dog Coalition, a moderate-Democrat organization.