Right from the start of the coronavirus outbreak, there have been waves of accolades for nurses, personal care workers, cashiers, and workers in other trades – and rightly so. One blind spot in our collective view of the situation, though, has been the necessary but unnoticed contribution, every day, by men and women truck drivers.
Remember the 35 tons of food delivered to a food bank in Wood Buffalo, which was flooded in April? Well, the Local Union 362 truck that made this essential delivery was stolen about 10 days ago! The only thing the thieves left behind was the trailer!
Low-income workers considered essential in the fight against COVID-19 will see their wages increased as a result of a $4 billion federal-provincial agreement, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed today.
The federal government has decided to lift the hours of service exemption in road transportation effective Thursday, April 30, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. The Teamsters have been pressing Ottawa for this decision for the past few weeks, holding several conference calls on the issue.
Teamsters Local Union 362 in Alberta is using its semi-trailer truck to get food to the Wood Buffalo Food Bank, which lost its building and all the food inside to flooding on Sunday. The union has so far delivered approximately 35 metric tons of food from Food Banks Alberta to a temporary staging area.
Teamsters Canada is demanding that gas stations and highway rest areas fully re-open to transportation workers and asking federal and provincial governments to pressure them into doing so if necessary.
The drivers’ names were Dennis Kehler and Daniel Kepner. They had been working at company for 28 and 5 years respectively. Both were members of Teamsters Local Union 776.