Hurray to the HRDC for recognizing that the shortage of drivers in Canada is an industry problem that must be solved within the industry. With all due respect to Andrew Rowland, and I am sure that he would have been a great asset to any company that hired him, I feel that bringing in a few thousand immigrants to fill the shortage will not solve the problem.
Even if 50,000 qualified drivers were brought in to fill the shortage, the end result would simply be a further depression of driver wages and working conditions.
In the long run, this would only discourage quality Canadians from choosing driving as a career. In a few short years, we would be confronted with the same problems again.
The real, long-term solution lies in basic attitude changes among trucking companies, governments, shippers and receivers towards the people that drive the hardware.
Until drivers’ wages and working conditions improve, and we are trained and treated as an important and essential member of the team instead of a necessary evil, nothing will change.
If it takes a lot of iron sitting around in people’s parking lots to drive this point home, so be it.
Meanwhile, I’m looking forward to the time when I can make a decent living without working 17 hours a day. Maybe one day, I’ll even be able to say “I’m sorry sir, but two hours is too long to wait for a dock. There is a load across town that is ready now. My dispatcher says that we should be back tomorrow if there is a truck available.”
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