TRURO, N.S. - A group of independent drivers in the Maritimes seeking to improve their working conditions have launched the Association of Canadian Professional Truck Drivers.The group recently launch...
TRURO, N.S. – A group of independent drivers in the Maritimes seeking to improve their working conditions have launched the Association of Canadian Professional Truck Drivers.
The group recently launched a membership recruitment drive and Brian Currie, president, says he and his executive are pleased with how things are coming together.
“We are trying to get together with as many people as we possibly can to get everyone pointed in the same direction and make everybody focus, and so far so good,” Currie says. “We are pretty pleased with the way it is going.”
The group’s goal is to improve the working conditions for truck drivers in the Atlantic region.
“I think we are all after the same thing, everybody we have talked to is in agreement and we want to address everything. We want to work together with the companies and organizations to make everything better for everybody and that’s what we are going to go after,” Currie says.
Currie’s motivation began last month when he orchestrated a trucker protest at the Nova Scotia-New Brunswick border with the help of his former group – Truckers for Justice.
Today, he wants to organize in order to bring everyone together so they can carry some weight with the issues they are attempting to resolve. Although fuel prices prompted Currie to organize, raising industry rates is the number one priority for the owner/operator group.
“We don’t really have a group representing long-haul drivers and we just want to ensure the option is there for everybody to have a voice,” says Currie.
The group plans on having a monthly board meeting and would like to have a general meeting every two weeks. Lately, says Currie, as they try to get everything underway, it has been next to impossible to get all the drivers together so he and the executive have been meeting with smaller groups of drivers wherever they happen to be passing through.
“In this business no one is ever in the same place at the same time, so we have been going to the drivers and showing them what we are doing and the proposals we want to bring to the table,” says Currie.
He says the group is looking forward to working with the Owner-Operators’ Business Association of Canada (OBAC) and has adopted some strategies from the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OIDAA) in the U.S.
Right now, Currie is calling for members and is confident that membership numbers will reach several hundred drivers.
“The first couple of weeks we will be getting the information out and getting to know how the drivers are feeling,” says Currie. “We have talked to people from all across Canada and so everybody is in the same boat, so it is pretty easy to push right now because everybody is hurting so badly.”