Pay rates less than in 1986

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Dear Editor,

Recently, I decided to back on the road as a professional driver again after being off the road for over 10 years. I discovered that company drivers are not getting as much as I paid my drivers in 1986. I also discovered that brokers offer the true meaning of the word.

I was paid $1.04 per mile back in 1987-1989.

This finding has made me change my mind about my career. I was always taught that as the cost of living goes up, so does your pay. Do you know how much fuel was back then? How about licences, insurance, housing, food, clothing, etc.? At the very least, our esteemed government has seen fit to increase almost everything by at least seven per cent (GST) since 1992. Is this added to your pay? How about income tax? In 1987, a single man grossing $600 per week would pay $120 but in 2000 will pay $150. How much have oil, Prestone, tires, coveralls, dentist bills, school supplies for kids, clothing, building materials or repairs to your home, car insurance’s gone up? And the list goes on

For the most part, truckers are lucky to make $11 per hour. If you worked in a warehouse as a laborer you would make more and not have the responsibility or the risk of accidents or fines.

I am of the opinion that it is not the shippers’ or the truckers’ fault that the rates are so low, but it is the fat cat freight companies. How many freight company owners do you see living in a small, cheap little home or trailer?

I think we should lobby the government for a fair and minimum wage for drivers and brokers just like there is a minimum wage for laborers, unless the freight companies do something immediately.

I would advocate civil disobedience if nothing else worked.

Gordon Ellis

Havelock, Ont.

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