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Fix truckers’ pay structure

SACKVILLE, N.S. - For retired Navy Petit Officer First Class Stuart Fairbairn, becoming a truck driver was a loaded decision.He was a chief cook, last serving on the HMCS Halifax before retiring after...


Stuart Fairbairn
Stuart Fairbairn

SACKVILLE, N.S. – For retired Navy Petit Officer First Class Stuart Fairbairn, becoming a truck driver was a loaded decision.

He was a chief cook, last serving on the HMCS Halifax before retiring after 35 long years of service (that included three United Nations’ tours of duties).

After retiring from a close-knit setting with what he called his extended family, Fairbairn figured the trucking industry could offer a comparable camaraderie.

Although the two industries do not compare as much as he thought they would, “There are a lot of fine folks,” he ensures.

Fairbairn has been driving for approximately one year for Global Forwarding Co. Ltd. out of Dartmouth, N.S.

Driving a 2000 Freightliner, Fairbairn hauls just about everything.

Although his job takes him many places and his enjoyable experiences are plentiful, he feels that most law officers are anti-trucker.

“Not all police, but normally I see truckers pulled over on a daily basis,” he says. “I wish officers would have to ride with us for a week, to see what local people are doing.”

Many of his complaints are echoed throughout the business – including that of four-wheel drivers not signaling, cutting trucks off, plainly put, being unsafe.

“We try to be careful, but when an accident happens and a truck is involved, nine times out of 10 it is ruled the trucker’s fault,” he says.

Another point of contention for Fairbairn is crossing the border. He does not mind being checked once, twice, or even three times, but he thinks border control should have computer access to photo identification of those who cross all the time.

“Right now, if you go to the border and they don’t like the way you look, they’ll send you to immigration which takes more time. Time is money,” he says.

“Truckers don’t get paid for sitting at borders, time is valuable,” he says. Only being paid for driving hours is also a sore point, or at least one Fairbairn would like to see altered a little.

“There is driving time, off-time, sleep time, duty time. Why can’t companies pay by the hour for duty time, for pre-trip and post-trip and waiting at borders or waiting at the customer’s location for loads?” he says. “The company should be held responsible to pay drivers duty time … Any other job you get paid.” –


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