Will a Vaccine Mandate Upend the Trucking Industry?
The trucking industry is none too happy about Biden’s proposed vaccine mandate for private companies with more than 100 employees. This mandate would require all employees for a trucking company, from the drivers to any mechanics or recruiters, to either be fully vaccinated or take a weekly, uncomfortable test to confirm negative results. Lawsuits are planned, but if the rule becomes official, how will that impact the trucking industry?
Already the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) and Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) implore their members to contact their representatives in both the House and Senate.
However, most owner-operators in this case would lack standing. A business small enough to have the owner carry out some of the main work is likely too small to require the vaccine mandates. If you are an owner-operator, how many diesel mechanics, accountants, recruiters, and contract negotiators do you have in your business?
The crux of this mandate is its impact on larger companies. Commercial Carrier Journal tracks the top 250 trucking companies in the United States. The smallest for 2020, Risinger Bros. Transfer, Inc., has 238 drivers. This places them well within the range for the vaccine mandate, let alone counting the auxiliary employees such as IT!
In a poll by Trucker News, 45% of truckers said they would sooner quit than take the vaccine. This does not mean that they will leave the trucking industry. With over 350,000 owner-operators working in the United States, there is plenty of capacity for trucking companies to expand while staying below the 100 worker threshold.
That is what we believe will happen in the trucking industry. We will see a mass exodus from larger companies such as UPS towards smaller businesses such as Samuel’s Logistics Incorporated (this name is fictitious, any similarity to an actual owner-operator business name is purely coincidental).
Even outside of the trucking industry, the coronavirus has jumpstarted a worker’s revolution. People who spend all day behind a computer are now demanding more work from home options, and employee shortages across all industries are placing upward pressure on wages, which have stagnated since the 1970s.
Will you be using the economic changes of COVID-19 to your advantage? Maybe hire some new people looking for work without needing a vaccine mandate? Let us know what you think about the situation in the comments below.
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