ATA’s Spear questions vaccine mandate

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) continue to question a U.S. plan to require companies with more than 100 employees to mandate Covid-19 vaccines. In a letter to ATA members, president and CEO Chris Spear noted the OSHA mandate was sent to the White House for review yesterday, and warns of “obvious problems and potentially dire consequences.”

Saskatchewan and Manitoba truckers were vaccinated at the rest area near Drayton, North Dakota. (File Photo: North Dakota Department of Health)

The letter notes that a small portion of the trucking industry has more than 100 employees. “If these mandates are designed to actually better protect all Americans, how are employee lives at a smaller employer less important,” Spear asks. He also says drivers spend most of their work days isolated in a truck cab – “literally one of the safest places possible during a pandemic” – and that testing hundreds of thousands of truck drivers who move across the country every day is a virtual impossibility.

“We are working to ensure the ultimate rule, if and when it issues, takes into account the vital work that ATA members do every day in delivering life-saving Covid vaccines, medical supplies, and the necessities of life,” Spear said.

In a September Pulse survey of Today’s Trucking readers, 63% of respondents said Canadian jurisdictions should also require workplaces with more than 100 employees to ensure employees are vaccinated or tested once per week.

The survey included 554 respondents.