Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME) is joining in the call to delay vaccine mandates for cross-border truck drivers that are scheduled to take hold beginning Jan. 15.
In a statement issued today, CME said manufacturers on both side of the border believe the mandates will worsen supply chain disruptions already being experienced.
“Manufacturers are strong supporters of vaccinating all American and Canadian citizens, and that includes truckers. However, a vaccine mandate for truckers, at this time, will sideline one fifth of that workforce, make the trucking labour shortage go from bad to worse, and do severe damage to already struggling supply chains,” said president and CEO Dennis Darby.
“Canadian manufacturing is already struggling with labour shortages and massive supply chain disruptions. Reducing North America’s cross-border trucking workforce by almost one fifth will do a lot of damage to our sector at a time when we can least afford it.”
Canada’s vaccine mandate for border-crossing drivers was scheduled for Jan. 15, just ahead of a previously announced American mandate that is widely reported to take effect. Jan. 22.
Canada’s federal government has also announced plans to introduce vaccine mandates to all federally regulated truck drivers, which would include those who cross provincial borders in their work. Federally regulated trucking operations have to date been exempted from vaccine mandates applied to other transportation modes.
Much of the opposition against the vaccine mandates has been voiced by trucking organizations including the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA), American Trucking Associations (ATA), and Private Motor Truck Council of Canada.
Given existing vaccination levels, the CTA estimates 15,000 to 30,000 truck drivers would leave the cross-border work, shift to businesses in the underground economy, or leave work in the supply chain because of the Canada and U.S. mandates.
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