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Sunday, October 2, 2011

World Truck Drivers Message to America: Stand Up for Your Rights

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Truck drivers around the world are closely watching how new regulations are impacting the U. S. trucking industry and the driver.  More specifically, they are monitoring the actions from the American trucker.  Our internet talk radio show, Truth About Trucking “LIVE” continues to grow with tens of thousands of listeners around the globe.  At last count, we have confirmed a regular listening audience through out nine countries and receive hundreds of emails from truck drivers around the world.

What we have learned from communicating with these fellow truckers from all points around the planet is that their needs and wants are not much different from our own, here in the United States.  They look for better pay, decent hours and working conditions and the opportunity to support themselves and their families.  Above all else, they seek for less governmental control over their lives and their trucking livelihood.

The purpose of this post is to share what truck drivers from around the world are telling me what they see as happening to the American truck driver and what they suggest American truckers should do about it.  I have spent hundreds of hours through emails and phone calls discussing and listening to many of these world truck drivers;  drivers from Brazil, Argentina, Romania, Poland, the Ukraine, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Sydney and Melbourne to name a few.   From Egypt, Greece, Spain and around the globe, world truck drivers are eager to voice their thoughts and opinions on the current state of the U. S. trucking industry.

They are not being critical.  They have already fought through what American drivers are facing today and they fear that we are heading down the same road.  Their message for American truck drivers comes through very clear . . . stand up for your rights!

Here are some comment examples I have received from truck drivers around the globe and their personal message to the American trucker:

Spain :

We are concerned about the actions taken by the truck drivers of your country. Why do they not fight back over government interaction and let their voices rise up together as one?  Do they believe that they can not win against such power?  We have seen the corruption of our own government wishing to push us further down by high cost of diesel.  In 2008, we came together, 90,000 strong to show our government that this was wrong.  America must do the same.  You will lose at times, but you will also win at times.  Truck drivers stand together as one.

Greece :

There is no group of industry that wishes to strike against their own government or country.  Sometimes it is the only action to be taken.  Many of us here in Greece dream of someday being to work in America.  For most, the dream will never come.  We are often puzzled by the lack of involvement that American truck drivers show in countering the regulatory bureaucracy that is being placed upon them.  We would like to tell them to stand together and to show their government where the power really lies.

Britain :

As my countrymen join together to battle our own government against the working conditions we face here in Britain, I wanted to say to the American trucker to not give in.  Do not sit idle and allow regulations to destroy your very livelihood.  You are millions strong.  Stand together and show your might as your British trucking friends have done.

France :

We have followed with interest the CSA, discussion on HOS rules, emission controls, EOBR’s and other such issues facing your country’s trucking environment.  We wonder how government can rule so heavily over such a free nation?  Where are the American drivers?  Do they speak out on such control?  Here in my country, over 600,000 truck drivers stood side by side to protest low pay and ultimately we won.  We say to our fellow drivers in America, use the power of your own legislation to overcome.  You do not have to strike, but stand together and fight.  Fight for your American rights.

South Africa :

In my country, a truck driver job is a dream for many, even though it can be very dangerous.  You are careful how you act and what you say.  Yet, in South Africa, we were not defeated so much where we did not stand up and fight for higher pay.  We have seen our share of turmoil through history and will continue to do so, I am certain.  What I would give to live in America and travel its glorious highways.  If you never exercise your God-given rights and those rights under humanity, how will you ever defeat those who wish to defeat you?   Have Americans given up and are they too weary to fight big government?  I say NO!  Not in America.

Norway :

In Norway, there are no truck owner operators, only company drivers.  Fifteen years ago Norway had owner operators such as in America.  Then the government began to restrict the independents with over regulating.  Because of this, independent truck drivers were phased out completely. The larger trucking companies were the only ones who had enough trucks to stay in business and remain profitable.  This allowed them to have the capability to monopolize and acquire business contracts doing away with any brokers for in-country ground logistics.  They have predominance over import and exports, coming in and out of Norway via ground freight.

So as a result there are only company drivers in this country.  Here in Norway, we are very aware of what is going on in the U. S. trucking industry. Unless American drivers stand up for their rights, we fear the same will happen in your country. Let me share with you what Norwegians believe is happening to the American truck driver:

The theory is that due to NAFTA, and the attempt to prevent the Mexican truck drivers from operating in the United States, regulators have implemented changes setting up hurtles for the competitors down south.This will negatively impact the smaller trucking companies by limiting their productivity.This is a mechanism for government to create revenue by enforcing imposed regulatory changes.Large trucking companies will stand to benefit from these new regulatory implementations.This will position the larger companies to be absolute leaders in the industry allowing a stronger position to run the industry as they see fit.

We want to tell our American friends that they must act and save their profession for themselves.  We encourage you to not allow the regulating authorities to dictate changes to your industry. Do not make the same mistakes that we did, granting government the power to help the large trucking companies in monopolizing the industry!

If changes take place in America by putting the owner operator as a minority, then you will have to accept a large part of the blame for not pushing the trucking unions and/or associations in demanding changes in your favor.  We encourage U. S. truck drivers to learn from the world truck drivers and if you must, stop driving.  You must block ports of entry to America and its cities.  You must prove that without truckers America will halt completely. You must make the authorities acutely aware of the devastating impact of hurting the American truck driver and the industry. You must act and stand up for your rights in exercising free industry.

We offer our thoughts in friendship, as we feel that Americans have become complacent and have lost their independent fighting spirit against government and large special interests.  We believe there is a lack of cohesion and solidarity among the individual truckers of America, the unions and the leaders within the industry.  We tell you this, not to be critical or in judgment, but because we have seen this happen in our own country and countries of the world.

Remember, independent owner operators are an element of the industry which keeps large trucking companies on check.  They are a form of competition which functions as an indicator of fair and competitive business practices among large companies by having the ability to change companies at their leisure, going to those trucking companies who’s business practices are mindful of the drivers interests.   We fear these over regulations by your government is just the beginning to a complete takeover of the industry, placing the larger companies in control and phasing out the entrepreneurial spirit of America, as we have seen in Norway.

There is much more we will be discussing on this post and our Blog Talk Radio program in the future, including facts on NAFTA such as larger trucking companies using NAFTA as a means of “legal” tax evasion and the truth about the United States and Mexico NAFTA corruption.  For now, truck drivers from around the world share one common message to the American trucker: stand up for your rights.

After all, what will America do when the big rigs don’t roll?

© 2011, AskTheTrucker. All rights reserved.

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