Amid a nationwide supply chain crisis, Joe Biden’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandate will only worsen the disaster, truckers contend.
Though the OSHA mandate’s effective date was pushed back from Dec. 8 to Jan. 4 in hopes of avoiding supply chain issues over the Christmas season, the push only delays the inevitable crisis in the transportation industry.
The OSHA mandate requires that companies with over 100 employees require vaccination or weekly testing, and companies with government contracts are not even given a testing option–solely vaccination.
With a shortage of truck drivers even before the mandate, the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) was hopeful for an exemption from the new regulation.
“TCA repeatedly called on the Administration to heed our warnings regarding this mandate’s impact on the already constrained supply chain, yet they chose to proceed with a disastrous mandate which will undoubtedly ensure the trucking industry loses a substantial number of drivers,” a TCA statement read, according to The Washington Examiner.
Also noting in an interview with the newspaper that he had hoped for exemptions for truckers was CEO of the International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA) Mark Allen.
He explained that with thousands of open truck driver positions already, the vaccine or testing requirement will have a “significant” effect on the supply chain.
In an open letter to the White House, IFDA, TCA, and dozens of other companies urged OSHA to provide more flexibility in regard to the mandate as key supply chain stakeholders.
“We are concerned a mandate will cripple an already strained supply chain. We estimate companies covered by the mandate could lose 37% of drivers at a time when the nation is already short 80,000 truck drivers,” the letter states.
“We ask for flexibility for transportation and supply chain essential workers,” the letter continued, “particularly truck drivers who spend most of their time in their trucks and have minimal contact with colleagues and customers.”