Union or non-union? That is the question many truck drivers across America have debated for years. Truck drivers face long hours, low pay, disrespect and continual abuse by trucking companies which come in the form of taking advantage of CDL students and new drivers as a means of cheap labor. Couple this with the on-going abuse of the truck driver DAC Report and the illegal lease agreements between driver and the trucking company lease-purchase programs, professional truckers seem to take it from all sides. Recently, I received an email from a recruiter of a major trucking company. Here is a small part of the message:
“I am a recruiter for a major carrier and have been for some time. Though it is never discussed, I’ve been there long enough to understand how it all works . It’s frustrating watching drivers be treated as an expendable resource as well as purposefully being paid an unlivable wage in order to create turnover. I’d like to be part of the solution to the problem rather than the instrument of the companies who cause the problem.”
For five years now, I have been publicly speaking and writing about the abuse of truck drivers, purposefully being done by the trucking companies and the “leaders” of this industry. I have always maintained that the trucking companies, the dispatchers, the recruiters and the trucking organizations all know too well that everything I have disclosed through the years is accurate. The above email from a veteran trucking company recruiter is verification. Furthermore, this is not the first message I’ve received from recruiters and dispatchers within the industry . . . only the first that I have shared publicly.
I never expected to be well received by trucking organizations and the so-called organizations standing up for drivers . . . but drivers can expect that Truth About Trucking, LLC will continue to fight to “raise the standards of the trucking industry.” As more dispatchers and recruiters who possess a greater deal of character than their peers, continue to come forward to confirm the truth that we first exposed on a public forum . . . drivers will see a change for the better. They must first understand that any change for the professional drivers will only come about through the works of the drivers themselves.
If trucking or driver organizations sincerely cared about their drivers, there would be no DAC abuse . . . there would be no lease purchase program designed for the driver to fail . . . there would be no CDL graduate paying $5000 for a license and sitting at home a year later without a driving job . . . there would be no cheap labor pool of new truck drivers earning .19 cents per mile . . . and there would be no constant, self-made turning over of drivers by the trucking companies. It is no wonder why so many thousands of drivers are in favor of unionizing the trucking industry. If trucking companies only continue to abuse the professional truck driver, CDL student and newcomer to the industry, who is left to fight for themselves? It will have to be the driver. Once again, all eyes are on the Employee Free Choice Act.
The Employee Free Choice Act would allow the truck drivers, not the trucking company, to choose whether and how they want to form a union. Many drivers have their eye on this legislation and so does the ATA and trucking companies across America. In March of 2009, I had John Wojcik, the editor of People’s Weekly World Labor as a guest on the Truth About Trucking “LIVE” talk radio program. I could see this issue coming and it is now breaking the horizon. The ATA and trucking companies are preparing for the battle.
Personally, I can see the pros and cons of a union. Having been an owner of a trucking company, I can understand the concerns from a business viewpoint. However, we are not talking about any business . . . we are talking about the trucking industry. More specifically, we are discussing the long-haul trucking industry. In an industry that has been described by professional, veteran drivers as the “most corrupt” industry they have ever seen . . . is a union the only answer to fixing the problem?
Truck drivers who are for organizing a union within their trucking companies, believe it is the only way to receive the respect and pay they deserve. Apparently, the American Trucking Association believes other wise. The ATA has added a new “business solutions” publication to help trucking companies prepare for the potential passage of the Employee Free Choice Act. In other words, it is a publication to assist trucking fleets in understanding how they can fight back against those truck drivers demanding equal rights, pay and benefits.
Organizations and trucking companies fighting against drivers, keeping them right where they want them to be. Whether you are for a union or against is not the issue. It appears the giant trucking organizations are against truck drivers even having the right to choose. This employee right could very well make the trucking companies abandon the abuse and actually give truckers the respect and lifestyle they deserve.
© 2010, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.