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Independent Truckers' Strikes Remarks to Reporters on the Situation

June 21, 1979

In recent days, we've seen truckers' strikes throughout our Nation. We all know that independent truckers do play a vital role in the economy of our country, and my administration is trying to work with them to meet their legitimate grievances. Some action has already been announced. Other decisions will be announced soon. At that time, the striking truckers should go back to work and end the interruption of delivery of food and fuel and other goods to American citizens.

Most important, however, I want to stress in the strongest possible terms that violence and lawlessness will not be tolerated under any circumstances. Murder, vandalism, and physical intimidation are criminal acts, and they will be treated as such.

I've asked for and received from Director William Webster of the Federal Bureau of Investigation a report on the death of the young trucker in Alabama. And I have also instructed the FBI to provide all appropriate assistance for local and State officials who are enforcing the law and controlling any violence on or near the Nation's highways.

The full resources of the Department of Justice will be used to ensure that order is preserved, that violators are apprehended, and that individual rights of American citizens are protected. As necessary, the Federal Government will also coordinate the protection of truckdrivers who are moving in interstate commerce. We will do whatever is necessary to see that those truckers who want to work are not threatened by either violence or intimidation.

I want to commend the Governors who have acted swiftly and effectively to stop violence in their States. They have my full support and the support of the Federal Government for their efforts to put an immediate end to strike-related violence and lawlessness.

Director Webster is here with me, and he will be glad to answer any questions that you might have about how the Federal Government is and will cooperate with local and State officials in eliminating violence in this strike, and he's here now for that purpose.

Note: The President spoke at 4:03 p.m. in the Briefing Room at the White House.

Jimmy Carter, Independent Truckers' Strikes Remarks to Reporters on the Situation Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/250367

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