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Bendix workforce practices living and working sustainably in Values Day

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As part of the annual Knorr-Bremse/Bendix Values Day, this month more than 2,500 Bendix men and women across North America are taking part in educational and volunteer opportunities to tackle the goal of eliminating waste. Among the activities, at Bendix headquarters in Elyria, team members planted a community garden and participated in the “Escape the Waste” team challenge.  (Courtesy: BENDIX COMMERCIAL VEHICLE SYSTEMS).

ELYRIA, Ohio — From eliminating single-use plastic to planting a community garden and attending workshops on reducing waste, Bendix employees are learning how to live and work more sustainability.

Across North America this month, more than 2,500 Bendix men and women are taking part in educational and volunteer opportunities to tackle one major goal: eliminating waste.

Their activities are happening in conjunction with the annual Knorr-Bremse/Bendix Values Day and are taking place throughout July. This year’s efforts focus on fulfilling the United Nations’ (UN) Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12: Responsible Consumption and Production.

The UN’s SDGs are a set of objectives to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all, according to Maria Gutierrez, Bendix director of corporate responsibility and sustainability.

As a global company and part of the international community, Bendix aims to positively contribute to all the SDGs, with a particular focus on SDG 12 and SDG 13 (Climate Action) through its long-standing corporate sustainability strategy, Gutierrez said. For Values Day 2019, Bendix employees throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico are working toward reducing waste in their workplace and homes.

The Munich, Germany-based Knorr-Bremse Group (KB) – the world’s preeminent manufacturer of braking systems for rail and commercial vehicles – is the parent company of Bendix, the North American leader in the development and manufacture of active safety, air management, and braking solutions for commercial vehicles.

“Every Values Day, our team members demonstrate their passion and commitment to Bendix’s core values and the values we share with our KB colleagues around the globe,” Gutierrez said. “As we drive to become landfill-free, our 2019 celebration provides a unique opportunity to ensure our workforce has the knowledge and resources needed to help reduce waste. Their efforts to implement green solutions are critical to the success of Bendix’s zero-waste initiative.”

On July 10, nearly 600 employees who work at Bendix’s Elyria headquarters gathered to celebrate Values Day. Throughout the day, they learned from visiting experts, put themselves to the test with zero-waste competitions, and planted a community garden.

The day began with a panel of speakers from three local, sustainably focused companies. These entrepreneurs raised awareness among Bendix employees on a range of topics, including food waste, composting, and responsible water consumption.

After the panel, 30 employees worked together to plant a community garden consisting of flowers, herbs, berries, and vegetables. The garden will be overseen by the Bendix Elyria Green Team – a group of employees focused on zero-waste goals. Members will care for the garden and donate the proceeds to local nonprofits.

Other employees participated in the “Escape the Waste” team challenge. In the activity, inspired by popular “escape room” games, teams of eight solved clues to unlock a zero-waste kit, which would help them live sustainable lives. This game helped educate participants on zero-waste programs currently implemented at Bendix and raised awareness on ways to help employees reduce waste in their personal lives as well.

The day concluded with a Sustainability Fair, where both internal and external vendors provided insight on being eco-conscious. To encourage employees to commit to eliminating waste, a Sustainable Living Pledge was created for those who promised to “say goodbye” to plastic straws, plastic bags, plastic water bottles, and Styrofoam. After signing the pledge, each employee had a chance to dunk one of the company’s leaders by taking a toss at the Bendix Leadership Dunk Tank.

As a company, Bendix also pledged to eliminate waste by banning certain items. The bans – which are now corporate policy – include Styrofoam, single-use plastic bottles, and single-use plastic utensils. All Bendix locations agreed not to purchase, procure, or utilize any of these items at their locations or at off-site events. This is part of the zero-waste initiative to eliminate not only industrial waste, but general food and office waste as well.

“Through a combination of Bendix’s company-led initiatives and employee engagement, we are striving to become a zero-waste company,” Gutierrez said. “By reducing our impact on the environment, we hope to leave a greener, healthier planet for our communities and for people around the world. We are committed to investing the time and effort necessary to be landfill-free in Elyria and at every Bendix location across North America.”

Bendix strives to be a responsible corporate citizen by working toward its goal to be zero-waste, Gutierrez said, adding that by diverting industrial and general waste, the company aims to be 100 percent landfill-free by 2020. In 2018, Bendix moved closer to this goal by diverting 96 percent (over 25.5 million pounds) of material waste from landfill disposal. As part of the initial steps in the Zero Landfill strategy, the company focused solely on industrial waste. Currently, nine out of 10 Bendix manufacturing facilities are industrial-waste landfill-free. Now, efforts are focused on reduction and diversion from landfill for all remaining waste streams, including general trash and cafeteria waste.

More than 1,100 miles away in Acuña, Mexico, Bendix employees will have an opportunity to participate in either the Waste Workshop or the Organic Orchard and Fertilizer Workshop later this month. To help reduce waste of plastic bags, each participant will receive a reusable bag for grocery shopping or material collection/recycling.

Employees at Bendix’s Huntington, Indiana, campus learned more about SDG 12 and the zero-waste-to-landfill goal with a presentation during a company lunch.

To leave their community a little better, volunteers at Bendix’s Kalamazoo, Michigan, facility will work at a Habitat for Humanity home build. Habitat for Humanity practices waste reduction at each of their building sites and diverts usable material from ending up in landfill through its Habitat ReStore. In Mexico City, Mexico, Bendix volunteers spent a day constructing vertical gardens with repurposed plastic bottles under the tutelage of the teenagers at Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos orphanage in Miacatlán.

Later this month, at the company’s facility in Irvine, California, company volunteers will focus on recycling plastic water bottles. Employees in Monterrey, Mexico, will help in urban reforestation efforts by planting trees. In North Aurora, Illinois; Lebanon, Tennessee; Vancouver, Canada; and Montreal, Canada, Bendix team members enjoyed company lunches while watching presentations on the SDGs and sustainability.

“Our Values Day efforts show not only our employees’ desire to make a positive impact – but their eagerness to learn more about living sustainably as well,” Gutierrez said. “They have gone out of their way to implement zero-waste strategies not only in their work, but also in their communities and homes. We are very proud that our team members display such passion and dedication to the effort of eliminating waste.”

 

 

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The Nation

House endorses adopting California AB5 provisions at federal level

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U.s. house of representatives passes pro act; endorses adopting california ab5 law at federal level
Owner-operators and carriers are weary of California's AB5 morphing into federal law. Introduced as the PRO Act, the proposed legislation will have far-reaching impacts on all sectors of the trucking industry.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House of Representatives has passed legislation similar to California’s AB5 law in that it requires employers to prove that independent contractors used in conducting business should not be classified as employees. The controversial California law, as applied to the trucking industry, is currently under an injunction imposed by a U.S. District Court judge that prohibits its enforcement. California-based carriers, the California Trucking Association (CTA) and owner-operators doing business in the state, as well as trucking organizations on national and state levels, have all publicly opposed AB5. The Trucker previously reported that industry leaders feared a law like AB5 would spread beyond California’s borders. With Congress considering the “Protecting the Right to Organize” (PRO) Act (HR 2474), those fears appear credible.

As widely discussed in trucking-industry circles, AB5 places the burden upon employers when classifying workers as employees or independent contractors. If a worker’s circumstances do not pass all components of a three-prong test, the individual is deemed an employee, a classification impacting company operations and the individual’s ability to choose working status. For this reason, many owner-operators who entered the business for its self-employment opportunities oppose AB5.

The federal PRO legislation incorporates the same tests imposed under AB5 and applies them nationwide. CTA contends that AB5 is prohibited under federal law, an argument with which the judge ruling in favor of the request for an injunction was noted as appearing to agree. With the injunction in place, the PRO Act could be considered a case of amending federal law for the purpose of allowing a state law to be enforceable.

The language in the federal act as included in Section 2(a)(2) defines an employee under the same terms as discussed in AB5. As with the California law, the sticking point relates to the (B) prong of the test. Under the (B) prong, a company cannot hire an independent contractor to perform tasks, inherent to the company’s business, which other employees already perform. A carrier in the business of moving freight and employing individuals who move freight could not hire an independent contractor to perform similar tasks.

Should PRO receive U.S. Senate approval, something political pundits doubt is possible, it would be passed to President Donald Trump to either sign into law or veto. Of the two, a veto seems most likely, as the administration has stated PRO “appears to cut and paste the core provisions of California’s controversial AB5, which severely restricts self-employment. AB5 is actively threatening the existence of both the franchise business sector and the gig economy in California. It would be a serious mistake for Congress to impose this flawed job-killing policy on the entire country.”

Truckers nationwide should remain in tune with further action on PRO. It may impact many careers.

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OKC police confirm security guard who shot truck driver at TA has died by suicide

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A security guard who discharged his weapon, shooting a truck driver during an altercation at an Oklahoma City TA Travel Center, has taken his own life.

OKLAHOMA CITY — A security guard who shot a truck driver earlier this month during an altercation with a truck driver in Oklahoma City has died by suicide.

Sgt. Brad Gilmore, assistant public-information officer with the Oklahoma City Police Department, confirmed that 45-year-old George Bischoff went to a local shooting range, Big Boys Guns, Ammo & Range, on Feb. 20 around 1:35 p.m. and took his own life with a single, self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Bischoff had been questioned twice regarding an altercation that took place Feb. 14 around 4:30 a.m. in which he confronted a truck driver, 42-year-old Paul Sisk, at a TA Travel Center in Oklahoma City regarding a reserved parking space.

“Somewhere during that altercation, it became physical and the security guard fired one shot, hitting the truck driver,” Gilmore said. “The truck driver was transported to a local hospital, where he was treated and has since been released.”

Gilmore said the security guard was initially questioned following the incident but at that time, Gilmore said, police had not yet had a chance to talk to the truck driver.

“The security guard was brought back in and questioned again, and we were in the process of discussing the case with the district attorney’s office; and on our end, charges had not been filed,” Gilmore said.

Gilmore could not confirm whether the gun used at the range was rented or owned by Bischoff, but he said local news outlets have reported that the gun was rented.  Gilmore said the incident remains under investigation.

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Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse identifies nearly 8,000 substance-abuse violations

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Fmcsa’s drug and alcohol clearinghouse identifies nearly 8,000 substance-abuse violations in first weeks of operation
FMCSA’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse program is designed to improve road safety by identifying drivers who are barred from driving commercial vehicles due to drug violations. (iStock photo)

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration released data on Feb. 21 following the first weeks of operation of its Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. The information released showed the clearinghouse has detected and identified nearly 8,000 positive substance-abuse tests of commercial drivers since Jan. 6. The clearinghouse now has more than 650,000 registrants.

“We’ve seen encouraging results from the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, but there’s still work to do to ensure we identify more drivers who should not be behind the wheel. The clearinghouse is a positive step, and the Agency continues to work closely with industry, law enforcement, and our state partners to ensure its implementation is effective,” said Jim Mullen, FMCSA acting administrator.

The clearinghouse is aimed at improving road safety by providing FMCSA and employers with the necessary tools to identify drivers who have violated federal drug and alcohol testing program requirements and are prohibited from operating a commercial motor vehicle. The goal of the clearinghouse is to ensure that such drivers receive the required evaluation and treatment before they have the opportunity to resume driving.

Those required to register for the clearinghouse include:

  • Employers of commercial driver’s license (CDL) and commercial learner’s permit (CLP) holders, or their designated service agents, and medical review officers who report drug and alcohol program violations that occurred on or after Jan. 6, 2020;
  • Employers or their designated service agents who conduct required queries that inform them whether prospective or current employees have drug and alcohol program violations in their clearinghouse records. Employers must purchase a query plan before conducting queries in the clearinghouse – query plans must be purchased from the FMCSA clearinghouse website only;
  • Drivers who respond to employer consent requests or would like to view their clearinghouse record when applying for a job; and
  • Substance abuse professionals who report on the completion of driver initial assessments and driver eligibility for return-to-duty testing for violations committed on or after Jan. 6, 2020.

There is no cost for registration. Commercial drivers are not required to immediately register for the clearinghouse but will need to register to respond to an employer’s request for consent prior to a pre-employment query or other full query being conducted. In addition, employers must be registered during the first year of implementation to ensure they are able to conduct the required annual query on all employed drivers.

Combatting drug abuse has been a top priority of the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Trump Administration. President Trump has brought attention to the nation’s opioid crisis by declaring it a nationwide public health emergency and has implemented critical federal initiatives to help reduce opioid abuse.

For information about FMCSA’s clearinghouse program, including user brochures and instructional aids with step-by-step registration instructions, visit clearinghouse.fmcsa.dot.gov.

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