One of the trucking industry's largest lobbying/trade organizations claims President Joe Biden's plan to require many large businesses to mandate their employees get COVID-19 vaccinations will harm the nation's freight delivery efforts.
On Thursday, Sept. 9, Biden directed the Occupational Health and Safety Administration to initiate a process that requires employers of more than 100 people to require workers to be vaccinated or face weekly testing. Biden's plan comes as many states struggle to contain the Delta variant of the disease.
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American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear Friday, Sept. 10 issued a statement in reaction to Biden's plan. It said:
"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."
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The ATA also posted on its website:
"We find these new requirements on the trucking industry largely unnecessary given our successful track record in maintaining the safety of drivers and other employees throughout this pandemic. We anticipate some of the policy decisions—such as the 100-employee threshold—could have substantial, adverse effects on trucking capacity and the U.S. supply chain by unnecessarily exacerbating the current driver shortage and broader labor shortage.
"If the Administration were truly committed to protecting Americans, why wouldn’t it include persons working in businesses with 100 employees or less?
"This indiscriminate threshold picks winners and losers and won’t effectively ensure vaccination for the vast majority of employees who work for businesses with fewer than 100 employees, or for independent contractors like owner-operators in trucking. Furthermore, it’s unclear how to implement a testing program given our drivers are traveling all across the country in any given week."