Rumors surrounding the possibility of a series of trucker strikes surfaced across the internet over the weekend.
According to several trucking Facebook groups, several viral Tik Tok videos and a smattering of posts across the internet, truck drivers, and even some trucking companies, are planning to park their trucks in response to the election and coronavirus lockdown measures.
“As of now the word is November 29th,” states one trucker in a now-viral Tik Tok video.
Truckers going on strike ! “November 29th , we park and don’t move . It’s the day we take this country back . It’s our time . We say what happens.” pic.twitter.com/XCg7oJfkm9— VeBee🇺🇸✝️ (@VeBo1991) November 9, 2020
“November 29th, we park and we don’t move…November 29th is the day we take this country back. Spread the word. It’s our time. We say what happens,” he adds, before warning, “Shit’s about to get real.”
“We’ve been out here in the middle of this pandemic this whole time bringing you shit and how do you thank us?” says another trucker in a second viral Tik Tok video.
A nationwide trucker strike may be coming. pic.twitter.com/oaIIhRe2RR— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) November 9, 2020
“You close down the restaurants that we eat at…then you close down our rest stops. Now in Wyoming they’re talking about not even plowing the highways this winter because they can’t afford it. And to top it all off, 70 million of you guys voted against the trucking industry, against first responders, against oil and gas – we ain’t gonna forget this shit, you already have but we won’t.”
“Our message is simple and hopefully effective,” wrote a member of the over 20k strong Facebook group, StopTheTires2020.
“We fully intend to exercise our rights, and will not have politicians making crippling decisions, that will negatively affect our future and the future of our children…. We will not participate in the leftist, Biden/Harris Green New Deal. We do not support the banning of fracking. The United States of America operates as a capitalistic economy and OIL is the fuel she survives on.”
According to StopTheTires2020, the initial protest will take place on November 11th, Veterans Day, during which participating truck drivers will park their rigs for a full 24 hours.
“If this is not effective and our leaders do not respect that blue-collar truck drivers are having to face domestic terrorism, primarily in democrat run cities all over the United States, and that we do not support the banning of fracking in any way,” StopTheTires2020 continues, “then we will have our second STOP OF TIRES for FOUR full days 11/26/20-11/29/20.”
Still others are saying the November 26th shutdown would last even longer than four days, stretching into the month of December.
One group in support of the truck driver strike even claims to be non-partisan and entirely non-political – Truck Strike 2020. This group says they are only standing up for the best interests of truckers, politics aside.
“It shows that people are motivated and want to get things done,” stated the apparent founder of Truck Strike 2020 in a video addressing the potential strike. “Unfortunately, unless we all come together as a whole, as drivers – not just a few here and there – it’s not going to make a difference.”
With regards to the questions we've received about a strike coming due to the pending results of the election, please…Posted by Trucker Strike 2020 on Saturday, November 7, 2020
More recently, truck drivers responsible for supplying Whole Foods across New York state are threatening to strike over COVID 19 concerns, claiming that the company has allowed covid regulations to fall “by the wayside this summer and the drivers have been cleaning their own trucks and buying their own equipment.”
While many drivers appear to be speaking out in support of shutting down, some long-time drivers are voicing their doubts.
“I have 43 years of driving experience behind me…So let me say this. 1st off…that is on a Sunday. ALOT of truckers are already down, waiting on Monday to unload. 2nd You all truly are not grasping the demographics of long haul truckers. a HUGE percentage are non American who hardly speak English these days. Then we have all the Canadians rolling into American who haul goods up and down…3rd there is a divide between Union and independent trucks as well. NAFTA destroyed truckers ability to unite America. So I call bullshit….So you may see a handful of trucks actually disobeying but mostly what you’ll see if just Sunday parked trucks (who would be there anyway),” a community member commented on TheDonald.
Another wrote, “Just asked my cousin about this because he’s a broker in the trucking industry. He says, ‘Parking the trucks for a day won’t be that big of a deal. It might cost more money to move shipments that day, but the world will keep turning. It’s just like Black Smoke Matters strike that happened last year. It ended up just being a minor blip on the radar…it would take a majority of truckers going on strike for 3+ days for it to really impact the industry.'”
This isn’t the first time truck drivers have attempted to organize a protest. Multiple trucker protests have occurred since the spring of 2019; mostly against industry over-regulation, and all with small turnouts.
For example, the “slow rolls” protesting over-regulation in Joplin, Missouri; Chicago, Illinois; and Dallas, Texas had minimal turn out despite group organizing and predictions of “hundreds of participants.” The Joplin slow roll saw only 6 drivers participate, the Dallas slow roll saw as many as 15, and Chicago saw the most successful turnout with a total of 30 truckers participating. However, several trucking protests have been successful in briefly shutting down highways and causing traffic disruptions in the name of fairer pay and HOS regulations.
What makes this protest different from others we’ve reported on in the past is that this movement appears to have support from trucking company owners and even those outside of the trucking industry.
Over the weekend, Tik Tok user and trucking company owner Madilyn Thomas posted this video in support of a shut down.
In a thread on the website TheDonald, members of the forum community offered to help fund or reimburse drivers for lost pay for shutting down.
Will this shutdown be any different from the previous lackluster strikes? Only time will tell.