U.S. truck drivers are pushing for federal action to address what they say are deteriorating working conditions, decreasing pay and rampant fraud, according to the Guardian.
On May 1, a group of about 75 truck drivers with Truckers Movement for Justice held a protest outside the U.S. Department of Transportation (DoT) offices in Washington D.C. to demand action on wage theft in the form of a lack of overtime pay and unpaid wait times for delivering or taking on loads, and a lack of transparency of freight bills that have contributed to cuts in drivers’ compensation.
The group said they met with senior officials from the DoT in 2021 as part of Joe Biden’s trucking action plan, a set of initiatives meant to increase the supply of truck drivers by creating new pathways into the profession, but that they have yet to see any movement on their three core demands.
“We’ve lost our patience. This has been going on for years and has only gotten worse with the lack of federal action. We don’t need taskforces and studies,” said Caleb Fernandez, a long-distance truck driver since 2017, who also serves as deputy secretary for Truckers Movement for Justice.
Pay for truck drivers has dwindled in recent decades even as the industry has consistently complained it cannot find enough drivers. When adjusted for inflation, the average pay for a truck driver in the U.S. in 1980 was about $110,000 annually, compared with about $48,000 in 2023. More than two million Americans work as truck drivers in the U.S. today.
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