In this short documentary video, a crew follows an owner-operator who struggles to make ends meet as a way of exploring the labor issues plaguing the trucking industry.
The 10 minute long video was shared by More Perfect Union on July 21, 2023. It is part of a larger video series about American jobs that used to be middle class but aren’t anymore.
The video follows 30 year veteran trucker Billy Randel, 71, an owner-op who says that he works 12 to 14 hours per day but still lives out of his truck because he doesn’t earn enough.
“We’re tired of being the back of the economy, because our backs are broken,” Randel says.
The video dives into how deregulation helped lower costs for consumers but created hard times for truckers in the 1980s, and how factors like Electronic Logging Device regulations, long detention times, an aging driver population, and lack of home time are causing driver turnover rates over 100%.
Randel concludes that the only way to make things better for workers in the trucking industry is for drivers and owner-ops to organize.
Take a look at the video below.