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New York, NY– New York, NY– The National Employment Law Project (NELP) released a report detailing on-going problems with the Transportation Worker Identification Card and the way it has been implemented and issued. Over a million TWIC cards have been issued; an official estimate of those required to have the card have ranged between 1.2 million and 1.5 million workers.
TWIC Problems- 7/17/2009
The report shows that at least 10,000 workers have lost their jobs because of failures in the TWIC system. It details how drivers struggled to get their initial hazmat cards due to the hazmat background check, the fingerprinting and other requirements. Because of few collection points and the difficulty of getting the required fingerprinting done, most drivers had to take time off work and travel to a collection point on the assigned day to stand in line. This can cost several hundred dollars if the timing causes a driver to miss a regularly-scheduled once or twice a week pick-up: that load goes to someone else and he usually sets until the next one-with no pay.
Some drivers went to get the fingerprints done without being notified of the procedure: the application had to be filled out and fees paid in advance—and the FBI background check completed—before the fingerprints could be collected.
Now that the TWIC card has been implemented, it requires another FBI background check and more fingerprints, but workers face the same problems as before. To add to the confusion, ports in different states often implement their own system of additional ID cards along with the TWIC. Most drivers have decided not go into ports at all because of the TWIC card.
The NELP Report also focuses on the failures in the FBI background check system. FBI reports are quick to pick up any crime someone is charged with but, if the charges are dismissed or end in acquittal, they often don’t get updated in the report. So, applicants are often rejected for the TWIC Card and have to appeal. The appeals system can take around five months. During that time, the worker becomes unemployed. Further, disqualifying charges have been vague and arbitrary.
Read the full story at examiner.com.