ATA President goes on the attack against OOIDA with “extraordinary series of comments”

"His voice rising in anger, Spear called OOIDA's approaches "meaningless," referred to the group as "combative," and said he doesn't "lose sleep" over OOIDA's mission, how it implements it, and the struggles it faces."

Chris Spear Named As New President And CEO Of ATA

The American Trucking Associations President Chris Spear was featured by a national news outlet in an article in which he accused OOIDA affiliates of bomb threats, death threats, and child molestation accusations against ATA members.

On April 30, DC Velocity published an article entitled “Spear, ATA president, tears into OOIDA over its agenda, tactics” written after an interview with Spear at the Nasstrac Shipper Conference and Expo in Orlando, Florida.

From the DC Velocity article:

…Chris Spear was asked if OOIDA was justified in feeling excluded from the various events involving President Trump and what the group decried as corporate truckers. He was also asked why the two groups weren’t standing more shoulder-to-shoulder on common issues. His voice rising in anger, Spear called OOIDA’s approaches “meaningless,” referred to the group as “combative,” and said he doesn’t “lose sleep” over OOIDA’s mission, how it implements it, and the struggles it faces.

In an extraordinary series of comments, Spear said that he and his family have received death threats from OOIDA interests, that persons affiliated with OOIDA interests have threatened to bomb ATA’s headquarters in Arlington, Va., and that OOIDA interests have labeled an ATA executive vice president—who Spear did not identify–a child molester.

The article goes on to say that much of the rift between the ATA and OOIDA can be traced back to bad blood over the ELD Mandate, which the ATA has long supported and OOIDA has long opposed.

OOIDA issued the following statement in response to Spear’s accusations:

Most small-business truckers – who represent the majority of motor carriers – have objected to ATA’s policies in a firm, but extremely respectful and civil manner. Mr. Spear’s suggestion that OOIDA employs questionable tactics and threatens harm on others is patently false.

“One should never doubt that OOIDA’s mission and agenda has been the same for 45 years, fighting for the rights of all truckers. We have stayed true to that under Mr. Johnston’s leadership and will continue to do so under Mr. Spencer. That representation and message is resonating now more than ever, energizing truckers across the industry to activism in the legislative and regulatory processes. Mr. Spear not only went out of his way to marginalize their concerns, but referred to them as ‘amateurs’ in the process. He doesn’t even recognize his pursuit of divisive policies and use of disparaging words have fueled the acrimony not only in our industry, but among his own members. 

“It appears that as we remain committed to being the lone, loud voice representing the truckers that the ATA has little to no regard for, Mr. Spear simply feels ATA’s positions and policies are vulnerable, and he is lashing out with falsehoods and misrepresentations.