• ITVI.USA
    15,097.280
    -2.920
    0%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.895
    0.003
    0.1%
  • OTRI.USA
    19.150
    0.030
    0.2%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,068.770
    -2.780
    0%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.960
    0.380
    14.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.710
    0.160
    4.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.290
    -0.010
    -0.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.720
    0.010
    0.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.240
    0.100
    4.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.160
    0.060
    1.5%
  • WAIT.USA
    132.000
    -5.000
    -3.6%
  • ITVI.USA
    15,097.280
    -2.920
    0%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.895
    0.003
    0.1%
  • OTRI.USA
    19.150
    0.030
    0.2%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,068.770
    -2.780
    0%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.960
    0.380
    14.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.710
    0.160
    4.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.290
    -0.010
    -0.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.720
    0.010
    0.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.240
    0.100
    4.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.160
    0.060
    1.5%
  • WAIT.USA
    132.000
    -5.000
    -3.6%
NewsRegulationTruckload Indexes

Viewpoint: ‘As I See It’ from the Trucking Activist – To vax or not to vax

The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of FreightWaves or its affiliates.

The president has demonstrated again his complete disregard for the facts surrounding the private trucking industry. Last week’s announcement of the Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) from OSHA, compelling companies with 100 or more employees to require full vaccination, will collapse the shaky supply chain overnight. Just witness the injunctions filed and the ambiguity in the ETS that describes at work at home versus outside work. Thank you, trucking associations, for looking out for the interest of the general public while the president is still playing politics.

Let me introduce some trucking metrics:

  • On average 20% of the trucking companies control 80% of the drivers – all those companies have above 100 employees;
  • An informal survey of our fleets shows approximately 50% of those drivers and technicians are vaccinated; and
  • Of that 50%, 62% state overwhelmingly that the resistance is due to government interference and mandates.

It doesn’t take a genius to draw the conclusion that this mandate would send drivers to the sidelines on a temporary basis, or that they’d retire from trucking completely, or move to the smaller fleets. In all those situations the impact on the current supply chain would be devastating, due to the fact, in my humble opinion, this mandate will do very little to convince these folks to get vaccinated.

Let me point out the fact that the current administration has indicated that they feel the private trucking companies are the bottleneck to the supply chain. While challenged with the driver shortage that has been in effect for at least the past five years, they are now shackled with an equipment shortage of trucks and trailers. Their actual actions to solve the shortage are immense:

  • Fleets recruiting and training drivers in the face of government assistance to keep them on the sidelines;
  • Driver pay increased an average of 10-15% over the past year; and
  • Plenty of good paying jobs are already available.

Our drivers and technicians throughout the supply chain are critical to keeping the economy going. This mandate will only add fuel to a problem that seems to be working itself out. When was the last time CNN lead with COVID updates? If the federal government wants to get traction for mandated vaccinations, let’s turn the attention from the private-market employers that have tax-paying employees, to the federally subsidized market of people that are getting government assistance. How about the administration and Congress cut off all federal assistance to those folks that do not show a proof of vaccination, and mask and testing as described in the ETS for the unvaccinated before payments continue? Whew. In the business world we call that accountability with enforcement.

Let’s keep on truckin’

Jack Porter

4 Comments

  1. What an odd turn at the end to attempt to villianize our nation’s poor and disenfranchised. I can’t imagine why those not working and who’re receiving assistance are less of a priority to vaccinate than our population of people who crisscross our country, exposing diverse populations to each other by proxy. (I imagine food stamps don’t pay for road trips.)

    Really, what’s gonna cause more of a trucking slowdown? Truckers quitting their jobs in petulance? Or truckers dying? I think you know there’s a hole in your argument the size of Texas, which is why you pivoted to dunking on the poor.

    I receive the daily newsletter from Freightwaves in my inbox, but if this is the kind of opinion piece that’s going to be the headline, I will probably unsubscribe. Think whatever you want about the vaccine, I don’t care. But using the vaccine mandate to argue in a freight magazine that the poor should face more hurdles to getting help than they do already – well that’s just showing your true colors. You dot love truckers – you hate the poor.

    1. It says federally subsidized. Doesn’t mention the poor. The poor have plenty of programs that have been in place for ever. I think he’s talking about the people that are to damn lazy and apparently have no self pride to get off of there ass and go to work, but they won’t because they are so used to getting paid by these dumb asses load ke Biden to stay home and leach off of the working men and women who have been working all across this country all through this so called Pandemic. It’s a VIRUS and you can’t hide from it. And the trucking shortage is a farce created by a he ATA nobody should belong to that organization all they are about is putting small companies out of business. Looks like the also work for the Biden administration. That’s my opinion!

      1. Because the “federally subsidized” aren’t poor? Your opinion is poorly thought out, if it’s thought out at all and not just some regurgitation of a talking point you heard from some news guy. I’ve read less incoherent, rambling, statements of conspiracy and uninformed garbage written on the side-walk by mentally ill homeless people.

        The fact is that this ranks among one of the worst mass death events in the history of mankind, and people too fearful or misinformed to get vaccinated are literally keeping the rest of us from ending the pandemic.

        And if businesses won’t pay people more than the government to go to work, then clearly they don’t need the employees that badly.

  2. There is no driver shortage. There is only a shortage of decent paying jobs. Trucking companies and freighters are going to have to come to terms with the fact that to be a trucker, you’re leaving your life behind, and that truckers need to be properly compensated. I know trucking isn’t necessarily a hard job, but it’s a job that’s hard on the driver’s mental and physical health, as well as their personal lives. Almost 40% of American CDL holders are not driving long haul because of the lack of recognition and compensation.

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