Regina, December 11, 2019 –Picket lines at the Federated Co-Op Refinery Complex in Regina create trucking industry hazards.
As the labour action at the Co-op Refinery continues, road safety is becoming a problem as commercial trucks are lining up along the adjacent roadway trying to enter the refinery. The Saskatchewan Trucking Association’s concern is the safety of truck drivers and commuter traffic.
“Trucking companies and their drivers do not make money if the wheels are not turning. These are private companies and STA Members that haul for Co-Op and locking them down is having a negative impact,” says Susan Ewart, Executive Director of the Saskatchewan Trucking Association. In addition to lost revenue and decreased wages for drivers, industry regulation is coming into play.
“There are rules about how long drivers can be on duty. As they sit on the side of the road, the hours in which they can earn an income tick away. There is no wiggle room here, once they are out of time, they are out of time and done for the day,” says Ewart.
Drivers will be affected not only by their pay but also the stress that comes with not being able to do their job. There have also been reports of harassment and verbal abuse directed at the drivers, which is cause for concern. In addition to the roadside back up, trucks are being detained within the facility, leaving drivers frightened and frustrated. There are 26 independent fleets that haul products for the refinery, all are experiencing similar issues accessing and being permitted to leave the facility. Independent fuel haulers who do not work for Co-Op are reporting stressful situations, leading to having to choose between attempting to provide for their families and which regulations to contravene – Hours of Service or Transportation of Dangerous Goods which does not permit the abandonment of dangerous cargo.
The Saskatchewan Trucking Association urges everyone to respect their fellow workers. The trucking industry plays a critical role in the economy and truck drivers are worthy of respect from their fellow citizens.
The Saskatchewan Trucking Association is the voice of truck transport in the province of Saskatchewan. As proactive trusted advisors, the STA is a knowledgeable membership association that represents the collective interests of the truck transport industry through authentic advocacy and education.