Thumbs down
TIA model broker-carrier contract a ‘detriment’ to truckers

By Jami Jones
senior editor

The best interests of truckers were kicked to the curb in the new model broker-carrier contract, recently unveiled by the Transportation Intermediaries Association.

With clauses in the contract such as: “Carrier shall not seek payment from shipper if shipper can prove payment to broker,” the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is giving the model contract a big “thumbs down,” according to Association President and CEO Jim Johnston.

Perhaps even more offensive is that the contract attempts to have any truckers who sign it waive their rights and remedies under Title 49 of the U.S. Code.

“We strongly recommend truckers not sign this agreement,” Johnston said. “It’s obvious that the model contract certainly would not be beneficial to the trucker at all. In fact, it could be detrimental to any rights or remedies you might have in dealing with problems with the broker.

“We find the agreement strictly for the benefit of the broker and the detriment of the trucker.”

Johnston said TIA has attempted to promote its contract in press releases by saying “major organizations” had been consulted during its development.

“If you were to believe that, you would believe that OOIDA had signed off on it, and we certainly have not,” Johnston said.

The contract was in development for several months. Despite offers from the Association, TIA did not accept any meaningful input from OOIDA.

The broker group also neglected to seek OOIDA’s review and input on the final contract before its release, even though OOIDA was assured in late November 2005 a copy would be sent for review.

And, OOIDA isn’t the only Association not happy with the contract.

The contract was submitted to the American Trucking Association for “review and hopeful endorsement.”

That didn’t happen. According to the ATA publication Transport Topics, ATA officials also declined to put their stamp of approval on the model contract.

At press time, TIA’s model broker-carrier contract was undergoing legal analysis at OOIDA. A detailed analysis of the major concerns with the contract will be discussed in the August issue of Land Line.