This letter is a response regarding Trevor Needham from the PTI Group and his letter regarding the Teamsters (February 2005 issue).
First of all, let me say that I have been a proud member of the Teamsters since 1994. While it is true that there are many truck drivers out there who have no interest in becoming members of the Teamsters, that is their choice.
I drive the 401-403 GTA corridor every day and I listen to the chit chat on the CB daily about how many drivers are forced by dispatchers and their companies to deliver the load when they are out of hours and tired. To me it would seem that the Teamsters Union was willing to step up to the plate to promote safe laws regarding HOS and therefore better working environments for their members and all drivers.
To state that the economies of both Canada and the U.S. would be devastated if all trucking operations were controlled by unions is a bit over dramatic. Teamsters do not control any trucking operations. The companies control their own operations. Teamsters, or any trade union for that matter, bargain better wages and better working environments for its members and protect them from the companies that force their drivers to drive unsafe equipment and drive over the HOS laws. Over all, unions create better working conditions.
If he considers Teamsters members to be pampered in that regard then I guess we are. We are protected from owners and dispatchers who have no regard for the safety of their drivers or the public that we share the highways with.
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