In spite of claims that the truck driver shortage is over, the treatment of the drivers who are working needs to be addressed. High-profile companies claim that drivers can generate anywhere from $70,000 to $110,000, not to mention significant bonuses based on their productivity.
For many truckers, money isn’t everything. Respect may have equal, if not greater, value to them. With increased wages have come poor job conditions and abuse from their superiors, thanks to continuing supply chain problems and driver shortages.
Coercion complaints continue
To compensate, many companies are flouting federal safety rules to meet demand. Drivers are filing federal coercion complaints at a rate where the end of the year will see more than 1,800. That represents the most complaints since the program was started by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (MFCSA) in 2016.
Coercion rules, announced in 2015, have led to pressure on truckers to violate safety regulations, resulting in reduced pay, fewer trips/loads, less than favorable hours, and job loss. For trucking companies, their workers seem to be considered a disposable commodity where personal time and overall health are at the bottom of their priorities.
If mistreatment continues, recruiting and keeping drivers working requires a step back to analyze their operations as it relates to how they view drivers. Treating them as akin to their customers would be a formidable first step that could improve their image and keep drivers happy and working.
Any level of worker abuse should be met with a strong response. An attorney with experience and insight into the trucking industry can be a driver’s best asset.