Minister blasts businesses over washroom access

by Today's Trucking

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TORONTO, Ont. – Ontario’s labor minister has sharply criticized businesses that deny bathroom access to truckers, calling it a disgrace.

Truck drivers are at the forefront of delivering food and medical supplies as the country fights the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We have thousands of truck drivers, delivering medical supplies or groceries, things that people in the province need. And, we have some businesses out there that are hanging signs up saying essentially drop off your load, but you can’t use the restroom,” Monte McNaughton told CP 24 on Monday night.

The minister urged businesses to work with the drivers and provide them with the restroom facilities that they desperately need.

McNaughton’s comments came a day after he tweeted photos showing signs such as “No driver washrooms at this location” and “We have no truck driver’s washroom”.

For weeks, truckers across Canada and the U.S. have complained about a lack of access to rest areas.  Many stores have been limiting access because of fears of contracting the virus.

Last week Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced that all truck stops in the province will remain open to drivers.

Various trucking associations have also urged all levels of government to keep rest areas open.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) ordered truck stops to remain open 24 hours.

 

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  • They need to fine any business that refuses truck drivers access.
    From groceries stores to on routes.
    If you want us to continue to drive we need facilities. If you close them were all going to go home. Were tired of being treated like were garbage.
    I would never suggest a strike, i would never take part when the country needs us. If the country mistreats us thats a whole diffrent story we will have to go home.

    • I agree with you about fining businesses that do not open their washrooms to Truckers and delivery personnel. Are front-line workers should have the resources they need to do their jobs.

    • My husband is a truck driver and he works in the Dixon and martingrove area and there is no where to go to use a bathroom the petro Canada and the shell both say u can’t use the bathroom that there broken and same with the timhortant’s when is this gonna stop and allow these trucker to beabe to use the bathroom this is getting out of hand truckers need a bathroom like the people behind the counter they gotta go so I’m sure there open for them thanks

  • They want the goods delivered they want it on time but refuse entry to what some call “just Drivers”
    Unfortunately it is not just the receivers but shipping companies as well that are treating are drivers horribly
    We need action drivers are already stressed out not knowing what they might be bringing home to their families after work
    To be treated like this is truly a dis-service yo the men and women that make sure EVERYONE GETS THE GOODS THEY NEED

  • It’s true in New Brunswick too and the customers we load at or deliver too. One place a saw mill here has a disgusting dirt port potty. It’s same one been there for a year. Sorry but I wouldn’t use. Driver’s now have do their business beside a truck tire. It’s the same in NewEngland. Signs up every where’s No Driver’s Washrooms.

    But on the side of The Maritimes, Ultrama fuel stops, have stepped up to plate . I talked to my rep. He promises me. Driver’s has washrooms at their premises. They be here for us.

  • They consider truck drivers not human Therefore, we are all outside any normal system of monitoring compliance with conditions and remuneration. Only we get paid not for time but for how much we earned on miles. And before the pandemic, many companies forbade the use of toilets. Nothing new…

  • Once we made the move to limited access, I contracted Porta Potty’s for the drivers who pick up at our location. I know it is not the best situation, but the drivers seem appreciative that we took this step.

    • Maybe you should close the restrooms to you and your employees and use those portapotties too. If you think they are so sanitary .

    • This is unacceptable. How often do you clean them? Do you provide the basic sanitary items as soap and water? This is what is frustrating me. He go crap in this thing that doesn’t get cleaned and oh I don’t care where you wash your hands.
      People like you need to pull you head out of the sand and provide THE FREAKING BASICS. Maybe step up your cleaning routine of the bathrooms and let us use them.

      Or close your washrooms inside have your employees and yourself use the pottys. Bet your mind will change REAL quick.

  • Normal everyday for us driver’s, then when some places give us access others destroy the privilege by not cleaning up after themselves.

    • just an example in Dryden in Ontario at the walmart store it use to be allowed to park there for the night since bunch of felty drivers left their bottle of human liquid on the ground in the parking lot . There is no more parking allowed .

  • Imagine if instead of “Drivers” the sign said “Blacks. No restroom for Blacks. The outrage that would ensue. But treat a driver like crap? No problem. Another day on the road. By the way, they’re on the phone to your dispatcher screaming that their load is late.

  • A huge food company in Cambridge. High security for the privilege of entering a small, dirty hallway and sitting in the truckers ‘lounge’. I asked for directions and was sent back down the crowded hall to a one-toilet bathroom. A sign said “truck drivers only”. The seat was up (oh joy).

    I’m a mature woman who tries to accept without complaint, but it was DISGUSTINGLY filthy. I finished my business as quickly as possible with the least amount of physical contact with anything.

    By then I had gotten their corporate message. “You drivers are all the dirty, underbelly of our system. We really don’t want to accommodate your basic needs or appreciate your value to our company.

    We don’t care whether this room gets cleaned, but someone said we had to give you one toilet to share
    so, here it is.
    We will find someone to clean it once a month, whether it needs it or not.

    This is all you get. Don’t ask for anything else.”
    Bring your own TP.

    And, I STILL want to find work in this industry.

    I didn’t start this comment with this next bit in mind, but, here goes.

    Part 2:
    Anyone willing to take on a mature female driver who slaps a smile on her face, doesn’t complain much, is smart, responsible, available for long haul, cross border, pin to pin , and presents and performs well as a representative of your company, and the industry?

    Call me…maybe. : )

    Sue in Kitchener

    • Hey Sue! I definately didn’t read the article or comments with this in mind but…I would love to talk to you. I own a small trucking company in Paris with my husband. We are quietly looking for someone awesome and offer exactly what you mentioned! Amanda – Eby Boys Transport.

    • You must be talking about Loblaws. That place has been disgusting for years. But I get what your saying. The industry’ isn’t about to change. Up till now truck driver were just that. Now they are an essential service. Should be payed and treated accordingly

  • If they don’t want drivers in their rest rooms then they should supply porta pottys and sanitation stations. This should be federally mandated.

  • Perhaps the offending businesses should face a possible fine for non compliance.

    Filthy Port a Potties are simply NOT a suitable alternative. They can carry worse diseases. It causes me to worry every time my Husband comes home.

  • They need us today, but tomorrow it’s going back to:

    Don’t park there.
    What took you so long?
    Food poisoning.
    Lazy truckers.
    LMIA expansion.

    Sorry if I sound cynical, but I am. Today March 31, I will turn 300 hrs of on duty time for the month. All the while knowing that help for trucking in general and owner-ops in particular will be scarce once the virus is over. If the economy is as bad as they are saying it will be I may lose my truck and my business in the summer or fall.

  • It’s truly sickening we go and deliver Freight or pickup Freight not allowed to use the bathroom. I wish that we were normal human beings also? It seems that’s not the case. Doug Ford needs to speak up and tell these businesses that we should be allowed to use the bathrooms.

  • No different treatment now
    Never mind the businesses denying truck drivers access to washrooms or able to walk up to the drive through window. We have been treated like second hand citizens forever.
    The wonderful government has made trucking special,,,we don’t qualify for overtime pay like the rest of Canada and companies fully expect us to work 60 hours a week with no incentive.
    Canadian Trucking Association or the Ontario Trucking Association do not represent TRUCK DRIVERS,not in any way shape or form!

    • Actually the law clearly states time and half for over 50 hours for day cab and 60 hours for over the road. Every carrier ignores this law.

    • Get another job then. It’s not like truck driving pays THAT much more than a factory job. You guys love to complain about the long hours, but the actual reality is that most of you guys are barely skilled enough to drive to begin with and the on top of that you literally sit your ass in a parked truck while everyone else actually WORKS. You’ll all be replaced with smart-trucks soon anyhow, good riddance.

  • Yes they should open there facilities the public always complains about drivers going outside and doing there business or going in a bottle and throwing out on the side of the road or at rest areas. I realize that there are some people who do not care that they are littering but we are a company that does not condone this action by our people.

    Thanks

  • I’m not a truck driver but had to drive from Pembroke to London last week without having access to a washroom.
    Drivers should refuse to make the delivery until you have been allowed this basic human dignity.

  • Until the government steps in and starts fining these companys it will never change its been this way for decade’s they want their product but not us
    Transport driver is the only job where you can be fined for doing your job
    ive been on the road 20+ years and its only getting worse under paid over worked
    60+ hrs a week before any kind of overtime if your lucky

  • Food washrooms and clean showers are a necessity if the public wants to continue to eat. If the disgraceful actions of these businesses continues drivers will eventually refuse to deliver your products. Oh and guess who will end up being the bad guys in all this? The ones who are trying the hardest to keep the country fed and the economy from total collapse not to mention putting their own health and that of their families at risk for a bunch of ungrateful @#$#@.

  • What really gets me is they say that this virus can live on surfaces for several days . These businesses are excepting product from us yet we cannot use the washrooms… maybe they need to be fined . So disrespectful!

  • I’m a trucker, I’m hauling essential material, for Canada, alot of the onside rest areas are horrid, people are steeling the toilet paper hand sanitizer and the washroom are left in horrid condition, unsanitary, we need these washrooms for health reasons and yes even sanity. Or we can just park our rigs and be with our family and let this world go into total anarchy.

  • If businesses refuse our well needed truck drivers any services should be charged with a fine. Signs like these are disgusting. Tim Hortons and any other drive through places refuse truckers food and coffee. Should be fined. There is no reason why they should be refused. They need food, showers and what ever they need.

  • If they can’t use your wash room why should they have to deliver to your business and if you are a food industry Maybe you could give them a free meal to boot

  • It’s common knowledge that washing hands is one of the biggest defences against the virus. It should be in their own interest to promote this. I applaud the odd chain restaurant that will let us in to order and allow us to use their bathrooms.

  • Not only truckers are refused washroom access. In Toronto lots of Dept stores are refusing washroom access. Eg
    Eg : I was in giant tiger Dept store at kennedy rd south of eglinton they refused washroom access

  • If I had a dime for every time I saw one of these signs at factories, warehouses, etc etc… I’d be retired by now.

    The worse part is now restaurants and other places where drivers are stopping for food and drink are also closing them to the public during the Covid19 outbreak. Soon there’s going to be no choice but to run off into the bushes on the side of the highway.

  • The truck drivers should be welcomed with good food service and not only washroom but shower facilities. Shame on businesses not treating these truckers with the same respect they’d expect.

    Kudos to the minister for speaking up. Clean rest areas ought to be mandated by government (federal and provincial).

  • This has been a growing trend even before this pandemic. I’ve gotten tired of it so now I go through the formality of asking , then just piss between the tractor and trailer. I’ve even squatted between the trailer tires. If they treat me like an animal, then they get no respect from me.

  • Get these truckstops and rest areas open these drivers only put up with so much then they go home when they go home they stay so I don’t think it’s a time for driver shortage these guys are risking everything for the job if they don’t have the showers in the truck stops don’t buy their fuel

  • They should open all the government washrooms for truck drivers use , as they are in hiding.
    Avoiding covid 19 and counting their new raises, but they did gove seniors a 1 percent raise.

  • It’s the truckers responsibility to be able to relieve himself as needed, why should every other business be responsible for providing amenities for these guys? The real disgrace is how these truckers drive like idiots constantly causing accidents and near-misses. Piss in your pants for all I care.

    • Mc if you hate us that much stop buying anything that was on a truck. Sit naked in a cave and starve FOOL

    • Because of people like you…
      All truck drivers should go on a 14 day Nation wide strike Starting This Friday !

    • just another idiot shouting his mouth of about something he knows nothing about
      and will be the first to complain when there’s no food on the shelves no gas for his vehicle and no medical supplies for the hospital one work IDIOT

  • Sorry guys .These times show the fear and true nature of man .I have a few trucker friends and have worked on many types of vehicles .I worked my whole life on machinery of some kind .I know what it’s like to be thought of as second class .Without mechanic’s and truckers no one could survive . Thanks to all for your sacrifice . Roll on .

  • Post the names of these locations so when all this is over we truckdrivers can refuse to give them any business.

  • It’s not only when we deliver or pick up our loads to customers. We are also finding that we can not use washrooms at restaurants and coffee shops too. When you are driving in northern Ontario and remote areas of Canada. These were places a woman driver or a man that needs to sit down knew they had a place to stop use the facilities and buy a coffee and a bite to eat, now you don’t have that, all you can do is walk up to the drivethru and hope you can get a coffee and that bite to eat. I understand people are nervous about this Covid19 ,but we are trying to keep the economy going and by treating us worse than farm animals is wrong, and can hurt their businesses when this over, because drivers will move on to a place that treated them with compassion.

  • I believe that all those Truck Drivers are doing a Great Job during this time. I also believe that if the Employees can use the Washrooms, then the Tucker’s should use them as well. To those Companies that do not allow the Truckers to use the Washrooms, they should be a Heavy Fine pit on those Businesses

  • If these businesses don’t let trucker drivers use the washroom, than these businesses or companies aren’t worthy of getting their deliveries.

  • Hours of service should not apply till this over also I for one will not enter a weigh scale nor take any log book.thats been handle by people that work there is trucks from all over na

  • How about a tax break for us during time of epidemic. Added cost for food, showers cleaning supplies are not covered by any extra pay while risking becoming sick. Govt can hand out 800 plus a week, truckers should be included since most buy own supplies

  • Most companies couldn’t function without trucks whether it be raw materials coming in or finished products going out yet in my experience it seems a lot of places go out of their way to make it miserable for a driver, now it’s even worse. We truly are not appreciated…..

  • These guys drivers are more of essential service than some cookie factorys tic tac maker and chocolate factory .
    Maybe they are scared and afraid that the drivers will see the disgusting condition their washrooms are kept in even the ones for public …
    Clean the washroom make sure they are filled with soap paper towel and toilet paper. Floors washed waste bins emptied ..

  • Yes open truck stops for truck drivers as they r hero’s to this country , risking there lives every day so the rich an poor won’t go with out , so those that don’t let truckers use restroom, mayb next week the trucker won’t deliver your goods ….I would say that would b a good time for all truck drivers stay home an b safe , an c who gets to there knees an beg us to come back to work , it’s gone far enough company an merchant s looking down on us the Back bone of this country we call Canada

  • This is not completely new to the trucking industry. We have been treated as second class citizens at a variety of locations . No restrooms for drivers or only a unserviced outhouse provided.

  • Tell that to the governor of Pennsylvania
    Over half rest areas are in that state are blockaded
    Then he’s got the nerve to increase tolls on interstate system.
    Why oh why do we as general public keep bending over and accepting higher taxes.

  • Wtf, they are the most important people, how do you think you get your groceries an medical supply? How do you think you get your inventory for your store or restaurant, gas station. They are putting their lives on the front line for you an your families. Without them we’d have nothing! Grow a f#%&*@ brain!

  • This J.C. guy…. give your head a shake. Everything you own has been brought to you via truck/trailer.
    Except your children.
    I strongly advise you to ride a week with a trucker..if anyone will let you after your I’ll advised comments towards our industry. Everyone complains abit. Truth is if you live in a glass house. Don’t throw stones.
    39 year veteran of the industry

  • It’s good to have access to the washroom on both sides at shippers and receivers by law because drivers depend only on those premises at that time. Drivers can’t leave truck & trailer and walk for few kilometers in order to go to washroom or can’t hold it for few hours because shippers and receivers sometimes takes few hours to load or unload
    As far as truck stops concerned they should also be forced to let the drivers use their washroom without being a customer. Driver can’t becomes customer or buy from everywhere in order to go to washroom.
    Finally Transport Canada or D.O.T should build more rest areas on Federal Highways and Provincial Highways at least 75 to 100 kilometers width, fully equipped with WiFi and parking lots for 25 to 50 trucks. It will help drivers to take breaks or sleep overnights.

    Note; Flying J, Husky, Petro, Esso should also build much bigger parking lots for truck parking.

  • It’s unfortunate but there are no running water or wash/sanitary facilities in sleeper trucks. Not only do I depend on hand Sanitizer to clean myself while picking up and delivering, but I really do need facilities outside the truck. I’ve suffered two surgeries due to Crohn’s disease and to be treated like a leper carrying the disease while delivering much needed provisions just shows that drivers are better people then the businesses they deliver to. How do us drivers know they are not going to contaminate us. We see way less people in the course of the day than they do. I avoid contact wherever I go. Last thing I need is to get sick far from home. Where as people working in companys are home. My point who has more to lose? If they are too cheap to put a plastic Johnny on site, so much for empathy, if they even know what that means.

  • Well it is disappointing the lack of respect that society has for key workers in times of need. It is not just drivers but other frontline workers as well that don’t get respect. Health care workers janitorial workers grocery store clerks just to name a few. Police officers military fire fighters er’s and others I miss. When it is all said and done at the end of the day we need to respect each other and ourselves.

  • It’s simple we don’t need to go home or anything like that just don’t back up to dock until you have access to what you need then remind them that we as drivers will not support there store or what ever businesses they are be politically correct as you do this like this morning wanted to order coffee and food at a drive up window walk up and was told to go away it was the only place open small town in sk will not ever stop at that tim Hortons again

  • You what, let the government pitch in and help those that have amenities that drivers can use. A lot of drivers are filthy and that’s more reason that we are treated the way we are.

  • Businesses refusing to help us during this crises by refusing to accommodate truck drivers should be listed on line for the public to see. Then suppliers of goods and the public should be urged to stop doing business with them now and in the future ?

  • I had a shell garage refuse to let me use washroom today. Called police on me when I challenged this as it was 3rd gas station in the area I had tried…I’m a courier and find it disgusting we are not allowed to use them…

  • West of Thunder Bay Wildwoode Variety is open 7-7 mon. to fri. opens at 9am on weekends. TRUCKERS WELCOME LOTS OR ROOM TO PARK 5531 HWY 102 ACROSS FROM AUTO R.D. HEADING WEST AND JUST AFTER MUD LAKE RD. HEADING EAST. CALL AHEAD TO ORDER FOOD 8077677901 CHECK OUT THE FACEBOOK PAGE. THANKS FOR ALL YOUR HARD WORK!

  • Hi I live in Brampton,I went to one grocery store named best price grocers 10725 McLaughlin Rd Brampton for shopping on April 7 ,2020 around 6 pm and I request to use washroom but cashier refused.is she has right to refuse as we are not living in third world country and outside of washroom written only for employees,it was not out of order,I will request to take an action thanks

  • Here is my take. The truckers, union or associations, shud get together and simply not deliver food and supplies to any establishment with the signs that keep truckers out. See how long before they open the rest rooms.

    I’ll go one step further, the ones who started this outrageous idea, shud have a permanent boycott!

  • This needs to be corrected immediately!
    Our truckers and all essential workers should not be denied the dignity to
    Use any public washroom facility! This is disgraceful!
    Where would we be without all of these people!
    Who will bring supplies and food and hospital equipment??
    FIX THIS NOW !

  • Thank you Labour Minister for bringing this urgent issue to light. I had written to my local MPP about this issue a couple of weeks ago. These people are bringing our food and supplies and deserve to be treated with our utmost respect and kindness. Also, I just saw on City TV news from Toronto that Freshco washrooms ,wonderful people, have put their portable, clean washrooms up for Truckers to use. I just wish more of these could be put up across Canada, preferably where food is sold to help.

  • My son andgrandaughter are truckers. The lack of bathroom facilities is nothing short of criminal. They should deliver…….. on their doorsteps.

  • I deliver load Ayr, ON today. The IPF company shipper Brad refuse to use washroom, no portable washroom. Use bad behaviour.
    Company add. 15 waydom dr
    Ayr, ON. Ph. 519-623-5005