BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Experts at transportation analyst firm FTR Intel today predicted a management-friendly National Labor Relations Board under president-elect Donald Trump, in contrast to the Obama Administration’s NLRB, which often favors workers.
“I expect significant differences in the government’s attitude toward employment regulation,” Truck and Transportation Expert Noël Perry said during a webinar hosted by FTR.
Regarding technology spurred by federal regulations, which figures to slow under Trump, those motor carriers that have adopted ELDs (electronic logging devices) significantly in advance of the December 2017 deadline can look forward to an easing of problems now being caused by the introduction of the devices, Perry said. In addition, the early adopters will lose far less productivity to the ELDs in the 2018-2020 period than those carriers who don’t install the technology until closer to the deadline.
“Early adopters are the people who run pretty close to legal all the time,” Perry said. “Later adopters are the people who run pretty close to illegal.” According to Perry, about two-thirds of the industry consists of those who run “close to legal” while the other third run “pretty close to illegal”. Perry added that ELD results so far have been problematic.
“We thought that the additional information (from the ELDs) would improve productivity. That hasn’t happened. It has improved profitability and driver satisfaction. The drivers like it because they are not asked to overwork and they’re not asked to run free miles.”
FTR Economy Expert Bill Witte, asked if Trump was likely to be able to preside over his goal of doubling the U.S. economic growth rate, expressed doubt.
“If Trump is going to get anything like he’s been touting, we would need a massive increase in productivity,” Witte said. He noted that history has rarely seen such a productivity increase, with the exception of the Kennedy-Johnson administrations in the 1960s, part of the Reagan administration in the mid-1980s and the Clinton administration in the 1990s.
“During the Clinton boom we were experiencing the benefits from the information technology revolution,” Witte said, noting that no such factors are pushing the economy at present.Witte added that current Federal Reserve policy of suppressing interest rates while continuing to threaten to raise them has been ineffective and is in need of a change.
“They’ve been behaving like Lucy and Charlie Brown with the football, with the Fed being Lucy, saying they would raise rates and not doing it.”
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