A meeting between the Ontario Trucking Association, the Canadian Sikh Association (CSA) and members of the Sikh trucking community was held this past weekend as a way to bridge common issues and address universal industry concerns.
The meeting, which took place at OTA’s offices in Toronto, included forty representatives from both associations. While the topic of Sikh drivers’ right to wear their turbans was the issue that precipitated the meeting, much of the discussion focused on issues that are universal concerns across the industry, such as the lack of respect for drivers and the industry as a whole, delays and poor treatment of drivers at shipper/consignee facilities, etc.
“Trucking is trucking, in the end. Most of the issues raised are the same everywhere, regardless of carrier size or the ethnic origin of carriers and owner-operators,” says OTA president David Bradley. “While this was the first meeting of its kind, everyone who attended agreed it was very constructive.”
Simran Kaur Chattha, chair of the Canadian Sikh Association, said trucking is in the blood of many members of her community. “Going into the meeting we were not sure what to expect, but we were received very well by OTA and its board members who were in attendance. Through dialogue we hope to promote a better understanding between Sikh truckers and the membership of OTA which is a very effective voice for the industry.”