A leading trucking trade group recently issued a statement on a controversial White House vaccination mandate, asking group members to contact lawmakers to explain how the plan could be disastrous for the industry as a whole.
Earlier this month, President Joe Biden issued a sweeping plan to fight back against COVID-19 by directing the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to introduce new regulations that will force private sector companies that employ more than 100 workers to require either proof of vaccination or weekly testing. Companies that fail to comply could face penalties of $14,000 per violation.
On September 17, the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) issued an official statement on the Biden plan.
The TCA points out that the supply chain is strained as it is due to the pandemic and that the logistics of vaccinating and testing the nation’s truckers could trigger a “massive driver exodus from this great industry.”
From the statement:
Trucking has often been referred to as the backbone of the U.S. economy, with the truckload segment as its heartbeat. As an industry, we now face an unprecedented need for professional truck drivers to haul our nation’s inventory at a time when the shortage of commercial vehicle operators has reached new heights. We have raced to the frontlines to supply a nation during this global pandemic, have been deemed essential by a government that truly needs us, and have demonstrated an industry-wide passion to restock the country’s everyday necessities.
Obviously, the logistics of vaccinating an army of professional truck drivers operating in an irregular operating environment remains a strong concern. A larger fear is that a rule requiring a vaccine or weekly test could lead to a massive driver exodus from this great industry. Already faced with a shrinking pool of drivers from COVID-19 itself, we are all confronted with the pervasive challenge of locating qualified drivers to deliver our nation’s freight safely, effectively, and efficiently.
The TCA also asked members to reach out to their Senators and Representatives to explain the ramifications that vaccine requirements could have on the trucking industry.
The TCA is not the only trucking group to speak out against Biden’s vaccine mandate. The American Trucking Associations (ATA) says that the plan could cause supply chain disruptions and hamper economic recovery in the wake of the pandemic. The ATA also argued that 100 employee threshold is “discriminatory,” and that the White House is essentially “picking winners and losers for both employees and employers.”