The trucking industry says cross-border supplies will slow even more if a vaccine mandate for truckers is implemented.
As of January 15, new federal rules require truck drivers returning from the United States to self-quarantine if they are not vaccinated.
A similar mandate is scheduled for January 22 for drivers bound for the United States
Mike Millian, president of the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada in Milton, Ont., Says the current supply chain slowdowns will only get worse.
“As we try to protect the health and safety of the public by forcing a vaccine, we could harm the health and safety of the public if we force 20% of the workforce to leave when we already have a shortage of this workforce, ”said Millian.
“They are the ones who provide food, fuel, vaccines, medical gases, blood, whatever runs our health system. Food in our stomachs and heat in our homes. We will create greater risk to public health if we are not careful here. “
The trucking industry fears that the vaccine will lead to the departure of approximately 12,000 and 22,000 workers when the mandate is implemented.
Shelley Walker of Cambridge is President of the Canadian Women’s Trucking Federation.
She said in a coast-to-coast survey from the Women’s Federation of Canadian Trucking, where 181 people responded, 56% said they will not get vaccinated to fulfill this mandate.
“For some of them there have been too many misunderstandings. For some, [they say], ‘We’ve been doing this for over two years, I haven’t had COVID. I am in a truck by myself. And for others, it’s a matter of religious beliefs, ”Walker said.
Calls to postpone the mandate
Trucking organizations like the Canadian Trucking Alliance have called on governments on both sides of the border to keep the dialogue open before the first vaccination date.
Stephen Laskowski is President of the Canadian Trucking Alliance. He says they have called on the governments of Canada and the United States to work with industries on both sides of the border and members of the supply chain that depend on the trucking industry.
“Speak directly with trucking industry customers throughout the supply chain to understand their current supply chain management issues related not only to driver shortages but also to other issues facing them. they’re facing, ”Laskowski said.
He said they were also due to talk about “how removing a certain percentage of drivers from the supply chain as a result of this tenure would make a bad situation in the supply chain even worse.”
Millian says that at best, they’re hoping to delay the tenure and provide truckers with testing options.
“Give us the option to have them tested multiple times if the driver doesn’t want to get the shot,” Millian said.
“At least in a way, we always do what they want, which is to try to make sure that we don’t get infected and that we don’t spread it. But at the same time, we don’t let’s not take these workers out of the workforce that both our economies desperately need. ”