Joseph R. Biden announced on Thursday that the United States was going to take stronger steps towards combating the coronavirus by making the vaccine a requirement. The announcement has not been popular.
The Department of Labor declared new regulations to be added soon, requiring all employers with 100 or more workers to either vaccinate their workforce, require weekly tests, or face thousands of dollars in violation fines. In addition, companies are required to provide paid time off for people to recover from side effects, especially if those side effects can impair their job such as lifting heavy objects.
For most businesses in the trucking industry, the news changes nothing. With over 350,000 owner-operators working in the United States, the odds that even one of these businesses has more than 99 employees are slim. Things get muddier for those driving under the Authority of a larger carrier, and it greatly impacts larger fleets such as Marten Transport.
The trucking industry has its fair share of detractors to the future mandate. Chris Spear of the American Trucking Associations has said, “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.”
Indeed, the nation is undergoing a radical transformation in both the workforce and supply, spurred on by the coronavirus pandemic itself. In a recent poll by Truckers News, about 45% of truckers said they would sooner quit than be forced to take the vaccine.
Beyond the trucking industry itself, many politicians such as Brian Kempo, Georgia Governor, have announced their opposition to the Department of Labor mandate.
Assuming the regulation is published into the federal register and becomes a requirement across the nation, we may see a shift in employment from larger businesses such as Prime Inc. to smaller but expanding owner-operator businesses. As long as the number of total employees stays below one hundred, small business will have a competitive advantage in hiring drivers.
As for you, the biggest impact you can have on reducing your chances of death outside of taking the vaccine is diet and exercise. An increase of your body mass index from 29 to 40 almost doubles your chances of contracting death.
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