As if President Joe Biden doesn’t have enough on his plate, he is currently dealing with yet another crisis as the nation’s supply chains back up. While the Biden administration claims they are working to solve the issue, they continue to promote mandatory COVID-19 vaccines for all employees. And even though the trucking industry warned President Biden that the vaccine mandate could terminate up to 37 percent of drivers, the White House moved forward with vaccine mandates.
According to the Washington Examiner, the American Trucking Associations (ATA), Truckload Carriers Association, and International Foodservice Distributors Association sent a letter to the Biden administration, warning them that a vaccine mandate on companies would ultimately lead to trucker shortages.
Recently, the ATA wrote, “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. We ask for flexibility for transportation and supply chain essential workers, particularly truck drivers who spend most of their time in their trucks and have minimal contact with colleagues and customers.”
But as mentioned above, as of last Thursday, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued guidelines for Biden’s vaccine mandate. The new rules state companies with over 100 employees could receive $14,000 in fines for each violation. The fines could increase to $136,532 for repeated violations. OSHA also suggested expanding the mandate to companies with less employees.
Speaking on the new mandate, Lawrence Transportation Company, a trucking business with over 100 employees, told reporters they may have to fire employees to stay under the 100 employee requirement. “So, if we’ve got to get under 100 in January, and they drop another ruling on us, and now, we’ve got to get under 50? I don’t know. It just isn’t feasible.”
Even Executive Vice President for Advocacy Bill Sullivan said, “I am confident but with heavy heart recognize a vaccine mandate will mean less capacity for the government as a customer of freight.”