TRAFALGAR, Ont. - With the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) strike in effect, a variety of services in the province have either been scaled back or shut down completely.Scalehouse closur...
TRAFALGAR, Ont. – With the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) strike in effect, a variety of services in the province have either been scaled back or shut down completely.
Scalehouse closures, International Registration Plan (IRP) registries and difficulty obtaining new drivers licences are just a few of the effects the work stoppage has caused.
Truck News visited the Trafalgar Truck Stop to get the opinions of our readers on what they thought of the OPSEU strike. Generally the feeling towards the strikers was not one of sympathy, but bitterness. Most feel the OPSEU workers should be grateful they have jobs.
Orillia native Al Leppard, who hauls steel and lumber for D.N. Campbell Trucking out of Hornby, Ont. hopes OPSEU workers stay on strike. “Why are they whining? They’ve got the best job going with full benefits. Send them out into the real world,” says the O/O who was looking for a load to take West with his 2000 Freightliner. “Maybe the DOT will leave us alone for a while and give us a break. Now maybe we can pay our mortgage instead of paying the government for a stroke of the pen.”
Mount Elgin’s Prouse Transport Ltd. driver Matt Prouse says he doesn’t like it. “They’re just asking for too much. They need to realize the rest of the world doesn’t make that much money,” says Prouse, who hauls general freight in his 1984 Freightliner. “I make minimum wage and work approximately 80 hours a week.”
Toronto’s Great Western Resources driver, Bill Shoebridge, took a different approach on the whole situation. “How can the government give themselves an approximate raise of 30 per cent and only offer OPSEU less than 10 per cent over three years?” says the Oakville resident who drives a 2001 Volvo hauling propane B-trains. “It hasn’t really affected me other than the fact that the scales are usually closed. I know a couple of people in OPSEU and can understand their point.”
Veteran driver, Don Hodgson, who hauls lumber for Main Lumber Inc. out of Oakville says he thinks the strike is a joke. “They get paid better than most of us, get benefits, holidays. I think I have to work more hours than they do to make the same money,” says the Hamilton resident who drives a 2001 Sterling. “They are better paid than most people, yet, they are still complaining.”
Georgetown resident and O/O, Dan Beattie, was hauling general freight to Orangeville when he took time to answer. “It does affect me because I just moved and I can’t change my driver’s licence,” says the driver of a 1988 Freightliner. “I think they’re getting paid pretty decently. A lot of unemployed people out there would certainly like to be in their shoes.” n