A group of Australian truckers is reportedly planning a widespread shut down in protest of continuing COVID lockdowns and another, separate trucker protest may also be in the works.
The truckers, referred to as ‘truckies’ in Australia, plan to protest at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, August 31st by ‘blocking every highway entering into every state at the same time’. A GofundMe was reportedly set up to support the truckers financially as they prepare to protest, and is said to have raised more than $3,302.
Some drivers are even warning civilians to stock up on the essentials in the next few days so that they can be prepared for a week or even two weeks of supply chain disruption.
“It’s on. The truckies are doing it. The truckies are going to shut down the country,” one driver said in a video.
“The truckies are in, the VETS are in, I’m in. I’m willing to go to jail to save my country and children,” he continues, stating that drivers have been in talks with people from ‘around the world.’
“The truckies are coming and they are going to pull this country down and we are all going to do it together and remove this s*** government…. What that means is you need to go shopping now, get what you can for the next week or two, load your fridge, freezers,” he warns.
The New South Wales police force says that they are aware of the planned protest and say that the ‘NSW Police will continue to conduct Operation STAY AT HOME to ensure compliance with the public health orders.’
It is not clear how many drivers are expected to participate in the demonstration, but this protest will not be the first time Australian drivers rallied together to protest COVID restrictions – Just last month a group of trucks paraded through Sydney, blasting their horns and blocking traffic, in protest against the closure of construction sites.
A separate protest is also planned by the 7,000 drivers of Toll Group, Australia’s largest freight company on Friday, August 27th, after the drivers and the company failed to reach an agreement over wage rates, overtime, and contractors. Drivers say the new contract agreement would not give them the job security they need, and that they are being forced to strike, reported The Sydney Morning Herald.
“The transport giant is responsible for two crises at the same time: a cruel attack on good, safe transport jobs, and mass disruption to food and fuel supplies,” said Transport Workers Union lead negotiator Richard Olsen.