Drivers group asks retailers, grocery chains to help truckers

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One national trucking organization is asking major retailers and grocery stores to help out the truckers who deliver the goods that wind up on those stores’ shelves.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association sent letters Tuesday, April 14, to major department, drug, and grocery stores asking their “help to make things a little easier and safer for our nation’s truck drivers.”

The letter from OOIDA Executive Vice President Lewie Pugh said:

“We are currently receiving several hundred calls daily from drivers who are unable to buy essential supplies to protect themselves from COVID-19. Basic items like paper towels, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes are nearly impossible to find right now. The irony is that truckers are hauling these supplies but they are unable to actually buy them.

“We are asking your respective companies to make these essential items available to truck drivers for purchase or through donations. These supplies are the only protections truckers have to defend themselves from COVID-19. It would also be nice if truckers were able to use your restroom facilities when they are delivering freight to your warehouses or retail business locations.

“Truckers are on the front lines of the supply chain. If they get sick, the supply chain will be disrupted more than it already is, which is precisely why it is important to support them as much as reasonably possible.”

Many U.S. retail outlets are struggling. Retail sales fell 8.7% in March, the largest drop in history. (This includes the sale of automobiles and gasoline as well as other products.)

As of Tuesday, April 14, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports there have been 579,005 cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus in the U.S. There have been 22,252 deaths, according to the CDC.