ATA: US Mandatory Vaccinations Would Trigger Truck Driver ‘Exodus’

American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear issued a statement in response to the Biden Administration’s proposed vaccine mandate on employers with more than 100 employees:

“The first rule of any public health policy should be ‘do no harm.’ Unfortunately, these latest mandates and the unintended consequences they’ll create fall short of that standard.

“ATA, its members and our drivers remain committed to delivering life-saving COVID vaccines, but these proposed requirements—however well-intentioned—threaten to cause further disruptions throughout the supply chain, impeding our nation’s COVID response efforts and putting the brakes on any economic revival.

“If these mandates are designed to protect Americans, then why the discriminatory 100-employee threshold, picking winners and losers for both employees and employers?

“As this proposal moves forward, ATA is examining all options and will choose a path that protects our industry—so that it can continue delivering on behalf of our country.”

On September 17, the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) also issued an official statement on the Biden plan:

Trucking has often been referred to as the backbone of the U.S. economy, with the truckload segment as its heartbeat. As an industry, we now face an unprecedented need for professional truck drivers to haul our nation’s inventory at a time when the shortage of commercial vehicle operators has reached new heights. We have raced to the frontlines to supply a nation during this global pandemic, have been deemed essential by a government that truly needs us, and have demonstrated an industry-wide passion to restock the country’s everyday necessities.

Obviously, the logistics of vaccinating an army of professional truck drivers operating in an irregular operating environment remains a strong concern. A larger fear is that a rule requiring a vaccine or weekly test could lead to a massive driver exodus from this great industry. Already faced with a shrinking pool of drivers from COVID-19 itself, we are all confronted with the pervasive challenge of locating qualified drivers to deliver our nation’s freight safely, effectively, and efficiently.

The TCA also asked members to reach out to their Senators and Representatives to explain the ramifications that vaccine requirements could have on the trucking industry.

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