For the majority of truckers on the road, the time spent waiting in port or for goods to be offloaded is unpaid. This practice robs truckers of a considerable portion of their wages.
Billy Randel, Chief Organizer for the Truckers Movement for Justice, joined America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss why truckers need to unionize to secure better wages and how the Truckers Movement for Justice advocates for truckers rights and higher pay.
Truckers unpaid for time spent waiting for goods
The Truckers Movement for Justice is a vision for truckers, to take back power in the industry and advocate for working people, Randel said. He explained how truck drivers are often driven to conditions reminiscent of sharecropping — they work long hours as independent contractors for low pay and have few benefits.
The Truckers Movement for Justice strives for trucker solidarity to secure higher pay and better working conditions, Randel said.
The movement’s battle cry is “Hours worked, hours paid.” Many truckers are often forced to wait to receive and offload shipments without being paid, he said. This can cut wages by as much as 65 percent because truckers are not compensated for this time.
If a class action lawsuit was filed, the money truckers would be awarded would make the tobacco company settlements look like peanuts, Randel said.
Truckers face low pay, long hours
Randel pushed back against the notion that there is a trucker shortage in America. He said plenty of truckers want to work. They just want to be compensated fairly and are not making the wages they deserve.
The only way truckers will get paid overtime is if they unionize — and currently the trucking industry is largely non-union, Randel said.