Are female truck driver student trainees really being harassed by some male CDL trainers? Are the stories of verbal and sexual assault true or are they just stories? Why would trucking organizations and companies want to cover up such acts of violence against women? In the world of over the road trucking, is violence against women driver trainees really taking place and are the trucking industry leaders doing all they can to cover it up?
For years, this giant industry has moved along in total control of how drivers lives would turn out. The company could either make you or break you. With billions of dollars at stake, a large majority of OTR drivers are still just a pawn in the companies game of playing with people’s hope. Hope that they can have a rewarding career and provide for themselves and their families . . . many of these trucking companies use this hope to pull in new CDL students and drivers, caring not at all that their lives, most often, will be ruined even more . . . all for the sake of the almighty dollar. Here is a recent email I received:
I received your trucking information about a year ago and I wanted to follow up with you. All I can say is that everything you said was true. The tactics used by my company was so blatantly obvious that even a child would have been able to detect it. Everything was going fine for the first 4-5 months, but then everything changed. I realize we are in a recession, but it became very clear to me that they were working hard to “starve me out.” At the same time they were telling me that freight was slow, they were hiring new student drivers every week. I wish I would have taken your advise a year ago, it would have saved me a lot of heartache.
Truth About Trucking, LLC is not about pushing anyone away from trucking as a career, but to assist in showing how and what one will be expected to go through in order to make trucking work as a career. Surviving the first couple of years as an OTR driver is the key, which you must realize will be very difficult to do for many. Again, a great part of long haul trucking is designed for your failure.
Having been involved in trucking in some form or fashion since 1969, I am no newcomer to the industry. In past years, I have declined to work as a driver trainer and I have never operated around female student drivers. In fact, with 20 years of long haul trucking under my belt, I never even ran into that many women drivers. As reports of abuse and harassment by trainers against female students became known, I first responded by doubt. Thirty two years of driving a truck, locally and long haul, I had never witnessed any such acts against women drivers. Then came news about CRST and the suit brought against by hundreds of women, which by the way, was refiled on November 30th, 2009. Unlike many drivers and trucking industry organizations and leaders, I could not believe that all 230 women were simply lying. This was just one company . . . I wondered if there were other female driver trainees too afraid to come forward regarding these acts of violence which include both mental and physical abuse . . . then came TruckerDesiree.
As I mentioned on the Dan Rather Reports, after Desiree began sharing her story on this blog, I began receiving emails and often phone calls, from women across the country asking for our help in making this issue more public. First came a few dozen, then as many as a few hundred. I would always ask each women why they never reported such incidents of violence, even rape by these male trainers . . . and the answer was always two-fold: (1) they were afraid of losing their jobs and (2) they did not think anyone would believe them anyway. Through our investigation, one aspect that always surprised me was the fact that industry “leaders” and organizations tried and are still trying, to keep this issue silent. This is an issue that not only deals with female harassment, but male harassment as well. Furthermore, let’s be fair . . . driver trainers have also been harassed by driver trainees. Bottom line . . . there is a big problem within the trucking industry and its driver training programs. Why then, is the industry fighting back so hard to prevent this issue from being heard further?
Why would large trucking organizations contact former drivers who are now unemployed and on welfare, and recruit them to write against TruckerDesiree and anyone who works toward making this issue known? Why would these organizations and trucking companies not want to change their driver training programs and instead, continue to turn their heads when women are reporting physical, mental abuse and even rape? Furthermore, why is there no law enforcement agency stepping forward to conduct their own investigation into this matter?
How big, really is this issue? Are you a female CDL student trainee who experienced such acts of violence by a male driver trainer? Post your experience at Real Women in Trucking. Trucking organizations have recruited drivers that were once on the side of Desiree . . . I know this as fact. Why are they wanting to cover up such illegal acts by some of these male driver trainers that they continue to hire? Why are there still those trucking companies and organizations condoning this behavior and working to discredit those women who are sharing their experiences?
We would like to hear your thoughts . . .
© 2010, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.