Slashed

How a little-known 1980 law slashed pay for millions of truck drivers and created big-box retail as we know it

An Illinois truck driver in 1940.
An Illinois truck driver in 1940.

Ivan Dmitri/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

  • Today’s network of big-box retailers and online shopping likely wouldn’t exist without the deregulation of the trucking industry 40 years ago this month.

  • The Motor Carrier Act of 1980, passed by President Jimmy Carter, slashed the cost of moving goods by truck.

  • It also eroded one of America’s great blue-collar jobs: truck driving.

  • A truck driver’s salary has decreased by as much as half since deregulation.

  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

When Larry Heine was a working man he drove a truck eight hours a day. He saw his family every night, owned his home, sent both his kids to college, and took his wife on vacation to Hawaii whenever he could land some overtime.

As a member of the Teamsters, Heine was guaranteed good health care and a pension. He retired at 51, receiving a cake

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Budget Slashed & More Dues Relief For Struggling Members During Pandemic Shutdown

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The International Cinematographers Guild, IATSE Local 600, has made “significant budget cuts,” including the furloughing of 14 staffers, in order to remain financially viable while still providing services to its members during the pandemic shutdown of film and television production.

“Local 600 knows many members are experiencing severe financial stress,” guild leaders said in a message to their members Tuesday night, saying that they’re allowing members to opt out of paying their third-quarter dues if they’re facing severe financial hardship. They urged those who can afford to pay their dues to do so, however, “because the work of our Local continues.” They also noted that “a single quarter’s dues waiver costs your Local $2,300,000 in lost income, and that money is critical to ensuring Local 600’s financial survival into 2021.”

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A similar dues opt-out was offered for the second quarter.

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