Representatives of more than 50 of the largest trucking firm in the nation have created a new lobby to combat Carter administration efforts to deregulate their industry.
In a meeting at a Chicago airport hotel late Wednesday night, representatives of the truck firms as well as banks and large shippers joined to form a new group to be called Assure Competitive Transportation (ACT), and in their first official act circulated a petition calling for the resignation of Interstate Commerce Commission Chairman Dan O'Neal.
The man who called the meeting, Chicago transportation attorney Daniel Sullivan, warned those at the gathering that "the failure to reverse the rapidly growing deregulation trend will prove counterproductive to O'Neal's goal of enhanced competition."
O'Neal and Transportation Secretary Brock Adams both have announced plans to move toward trucking industry deregulation, particularly in the area of entry of new firms into the industry and in the setting of freight rates.
The American Trucking Associations Inc., the largest and most powerful trucking industry association, has already begun to draft its own version of watered down regulatory reform legislation designed to head off the administration efforts.
The Chicago meeting, however, was called because organizers said the ATA and other industry associations had apparently not put across the industry stand stronglly enough.
Among those present at Wednesday's meeting were representatives from Midwest Emory, Schneider Transport (one of the three largest class-one motor carriers in the country), Indiana Refridgerator Lines, Pilot Freight Carriers as well as officials from banks, including Continental Bank of Chicago, andother related firms like Fireman's Fund Insurance Company.
Shippers, including Kraft Food Co., also had people at the sessions.
The group elected its first board of directors, to be headed by John Coulter, president of Indiana Refridgerator Lines.