American Trucking Associations chief executive Chris Spear warned that several economic bottlenecks — including vaccine mandates — are threatening an industry already at the “edge of a cliff.”
During an interview with Fox Business anchor Maria Bartiromo, Spear said that one obstacle facing the industry is “a year of policies” that involved “rewarding people not to return to work.” He pointed to a “chronic shortage of talent, not just in trucking where we’re short 81,000 drivers, but across every sector of employment.”
“We are all taking a pay cut in 2022 as a result of bad policies,” Spear added, citing the inflationary impact of labor shortages. “But it doesn’t have to be this hard or this long if you institute good policy, rather than just being perceived as doing something, you’ll move out of this COVID-induced rut a lot faster.”
Spear also cited COVID-19 vaccine mandates as “adding additional headwind” to trucking companies, which are “moving 72% of the domestic freight.”
“If you’re concerned about the supply chain, adding additional layers and mandates on top of that is not going to make it any easier,” Spear asserted.
Indeed, the American Trucking Associations and other industry groups warned the Biden administration in November that its private employer vaccine mandate would cause trucking companies to lose nearly four in ten drivers.
“Our industries are committed partners in the fight against COVID-19, and we unequivocally support the use of vaccines to fight its spread,” said a joint statement. “However, we are concerned a mandate will cripple an already strained supply chain. We estimate companies covered by the mandate could lose 37% of drivers at a time when the nation is already short 80,000 truck drivers. We ask for flexibility for transportation and supply chain essential workers, particularly truck drivers who spend most of their time in their trucks and have minimal contact with colleagues and customers.”
“While we represent different industries, we share the common burden of current supply chain disruptions, which are driving up prices and leading to a growing shortage of goods in the United States, with the holidays just around the corner,” the statement continued.
However, President Joe Biden’s private employer vaccine mandate was blocked by the Supreme Court last week — thanks in part to a lawsuit filed by The Daily Wire.
“It’s a tremendous day for the American people and for the founding idea that this is a limited government of enumerated powers, which exists to protect, not erode, the God-given freedoms of the people,” Daily Wire Co-CEO Jeremy Boreing explained. “This spells all but certain doom for OSHA’s unimaginable overreach into the private health decisions of some 85 million Americans whose only crime is having a job at a company with more than 100 employees.”
“Drink their tears, my friends, and enjoy your freedom. By the grace of God, you still have it.”
Nevertheless, various cities across the United States have also instituted vaccine mandates. In Washington, D.C., Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser’s mandate requires most businesses and entertainment venues to verify that patrons are vaccinated against COVID-19 with at least one shot. Customers will have to show photo ID as proof that their name matches the vaccination card they present for entry.