Trucking Group Warns Truckers May Get Sick if Grocery Store Chains Don’t Help Now
Kansas City, MO – The Owner Operator Independent Driver’s Association (OOIDA) is warning big box retail grocery chains of a supply chain disruption if immediate action is not taken.
In an April 14 letter sent to the grocery industry, Lewie Pugh, executive vice president of OOIDA, warned, “Truckers are on the front lines of the supply chain. If they get sick, the supply chain will be disrupted more than it already is.”
Pugh is calling for immediate action to help truckers obtain personal protective equipment (PPE).
Pugh informs that OOIDA is receiving several hundred calls daily from drivers who are unable to buy essential supplies to protect themselves from COVID-19.
“Basic items like paper towels, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes are nearly impossible to find right now,” Pugh writes. “The irony is that truckers are hauling these supplies but they are unable to actually buy them.”
He is asking companies such as Walmart, CVS, Walgreens and Target to make sure truckers can either purchase these essential items or provide them through donations.
Pugh also addresses the current working conditions for truckers at many of these companies’ warehouses.
“It would also be nice if truckers were able to use your rest room facilities when they are delivering freight to your warehouses or retail business locations,” he said.
Read Pugh’s full letter HERE.
This is the latest action by the trucking group to sound the alarm about the conditions truckers are facing amid the pandemic.
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Earlier this month, OOIDA sent an urgent letter to President Donald Trump warning him that many drivers could soon choose to go home to stay if more was not done to provide truckers with protection.
Todd Spencer, OOIDA’s president and CEO, urged President Trump to take “immediate action” on behalf of truckers.
“Every day they are exposed to COVID-19 because of the critical service they provide for all of us,” Spencer wrote. “They run in and out of the hot zones and without question they are exposed.”
Further, he argued drivers should have testing made readily available to them, and warned, “Once word spreads that drivers are testing positive, we could very well see a tremendous reduction in drivers willing to risk everything for the rest of us.”
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