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Canadian lobby group urges participation in OOIDA demo

OTTAWA, Ont. - The Truckers' Voice is urging Canadian truckers to take part in an Owner-Operator Independent Drivers' Association (OOIDA)-led demonstration through June.As part of what's being dubbed ...


OTTAWA, Ont. – The Truckers’ Voice is urging Canadian truckers to take part in an Owner-Operator Independent Drivers’ Association (OOIDA)-led demonstration through June.

As part of what’s being dubbed Truck Safety Month, OOIDA is encouraging its members to run completely within the laws throughout June, to promote truck safety but also to point out the industry’s many legislative flaws.

Commercial movement could slow as much as 30 per cent if truckers strictly abide by Hours-of-Service regulations, according to the U.S.-based owner/operator group. The point is to bring the issues facing truckers into the public eye as the repercussions of running completely legal play out, organizers say.

Canadian truckers should take part in the initiative, says Pete Turner, consultant for Ottawa-based lobby group The Truckers’ Voice. Although his group hasn’t formally agreed to work alongside OOIDA with regards to the demonstration, he says it’s a great idea and the more people who participate, the better.

“We’re just jumping on the bandwagon and putting it out there for the Canadian driver to let them know it’s being done on both sides of the border,” says Turner.

He expects shippers will be forced to change their way of doing things once faced with the realities of a work force that isn’t willing to compromise the rules for their benefit.

“We feel a lot of loads will be late and a lot of stuff will be falling behind schedule because of the fact the shippers and receivers are not getting their act together,” says Turner. “They should bear some of the brunt.”

He says most of his membership has agreed to partake in the demonstration, and he hopes other truckers across the country will also do so.

“Even if they do it for two weeks of the month, it promotes safety and it shows an accurate picture of how badly the industry’s being run. It takes some pressure off the drivers and shows them how much money they’re actually losing,” Turner says.

OOIDA estimates some drivers lose about 30 to 40 hours of productivity due to loading and unloading delays every week.

On its Web site (http://www.ooida.com/Run_Legal/take_a_stand.htm), the association says: “If this time is recorded in strict compliance with the regulations, the burden will no longer be born exclusively by drivers. The burden of lost productivity will be shared by the industry that has and will continue to tolerate this outrageous system for as long as it continues to cost them very little. The burden also will be felt very quickly by those who perpetuate this system. Shippers and receivers will see a sudden shrinkage in transportation capacity and delayed deliveries.”

The group also says Truck Safety Month will show unity within the trucking industry and demand attention from the general public and decision-makers alike. Drivers who fear repercussions from their carrier or customers should still rise up to the challenge, Turner says.

“If somebody gets repercussions over it, we want them to contact us and we’ll post it on our Web site and if we have to we may seek legal action,” he says.


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