MORRIS, Man. - After a successful inaugural meeting between drivers and owner/operators, a new association is preparing to take its first steps forward.Tentatively called the Professional Drivers' Ass...
MORRIS, Man. – After a successful inaugural meeting between drivers and owner/operators, a new association is preparing to take its first steps forward.
Tentatively called the Professional Drivers’ Association (PDA), the group has 30 members and is in the process of electing its first president and vice-president.
The association already has a secretary in place, and is aggressively recruiting new members. So far, members from as far east as Ontario and as far west as Alberta have signed up, says Emile Dupuis, founder of the association.
Dupuis, who has spent the last 10 years driving for Paul Brandt Trucking in Morris, Man. says the group has been well-received so far, as it continues to circulate posters throughout Western Canada.
“It’s coming along well,” says Dupuis.
“Everybody feels we do need an association and we do need to be represented. We’ve had a very good response.”
Already the association has honed in on three key issues it wishes to address.
They include hours of service, meal allowances and the maximum wheelbase in Canada.
The group would like to see that maximum allowable wheelbase extended so show trucks can be driven to shows without special permits.
Dupuis says the fledgling association doesn’t plan on being a thorn in the side of carriers, but would rather work alongside carriers for the same cause.
“For the first while, they may think we’re against companies, but in the long run, we’re going to help them out also, so they’re understanding,” says Dupuis.
Membership fees are $25 per year and in order to sign up, drivers must fill out a survey to indicate which issues they’d like to see addressed by the fledgling association.
About 200 membership forms have been distributed and they’re starting to trickle back in through the mail, says Dupuis.
He adds the group will be a grassroots effort to represent truckers and lobby government for change.
For more information about the PDA, contact Dupuis at 204-746-7764 or 204-758-3253.
The association is open to all Canadian drivers and owner/operators.
After elections are held in mid-September, the PDA plans to then draft up a constitution and general guidelines for the association.
It will then begin tackling some of the issues brought forward by its membership.
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