Are You Worried About Losing Your Job Due To The Recession?
March 1, 2009
BOWMANVILLE, Ont. - If trends continue on their current path, stimulus plan or not, 2009 may prove to be one of the scariest times for the trucking industry in recent memory. Already trucking companie...
BOWMANVILLE, Ont. – If trends continue on their current path, stimulus plan or not, 2009 may prove to be one of the scariest times for the trucking industry in recent memory. Already trucking companies have been scaling back operations, parking trucks and cutting – sometimes slashing – their workforces.
Larger companies stand a better chance of survival, but many of Canada’s 6,000-plus small fleets may not last long enough to see the supposed greener pastures on the horizon.
Truckers from across the country are bracing for the months ahead, but is there such a thing as job security these days? Truck News stopped by the Fifth Wheel Truck Stop in Bowmanville, Ont. to see if drivers fear they may lose their jobs because of the economy.
Stewart Carlton, a driver for Vandermarel Trucking in Fergus, Ont., is cautiously optimistic about the year ahead. “I don’t think (there’s a risk I may lose my job); not at the moment. I think the company laid 20 drivers off just before Christmas, but the rest of us seem to be doing pretty well,” said the driver of 31 years. “I think most companies have laid drivers off until things pick up. I think that things will pick up towards the middle of this year.”
Darryl Baker, a driver with Canada Cartage in Toronto, says he feels “totally secure” that he will keep his position with the company, owing to the versatility of the freight he hauls.
“For example I’m running steel today, Friday I was running lumber,” Baker said. “I’ll go on different contracts for them so if they need a reefer, they need a flat-deck, whatever the case may be, I can run it so I’m still getting the hours.”
Tim Moyer, a driver for Schneider National based out of Guelph, Ont., says the sheer size of the company is enough to make him feel secure.
“With Schneider being one of the larger companies out there, they aren’t really hurting too much,” he says. “They’ve got a lot of contracts, so I’m not too worried right now. We’ve got a lot of freight still.”
Moyer also noted that not only has Schneider not parked any trucks so far, they’re actually hiring more drivers.
David Kilburn, a US driver for Prime based out of Missouri, had only been driving for three days when he spoke to Truck News.
He says he chose to work for Prime as a strategic move since Prime moves reefers and people are always going to need groceries – recession or not.
“Retail businesses are closing but people need food, frozen food, so (I’m) probably going to be there for a while.”
Art Merrill, an owner/operator with Can-Truck out of Oshawa, Ont., says he doesn’t feel secure because he hauls automotive – one of the hardest hit industries in recent months.
“I don’t feel secure. I know automotive and it’s up and down right now. It’s like a hit and miss and I’m an owner/operator so I just take it as it comes,” he says.
“I went from five days a week down to two or three days a week getting out with the automotive, but I like the industry and I’d like to stay in it, you know?”
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