This is another post that is a little off the subject but I would just like to put it out there, So here goes;
For All My Trucker Friends
My thoughts on driver wages
Company drivers have been on a mileage basis for over 50 years and as such have been expected to donate time when doing company jobs so they would have more time to drive, which is what they get paid for.
The Teamsters got there rank and file paid for a lot of that time like, inspections, unloading, break downs etc. by mandating the drivers should be on the clock at those times and therefor the drivers were compensated for these times and still are.
Owner operators contract to carry a load from point A to point B for X amount and should figure in all costs of that move when accepting the rate so if they do it right they will do fine with mileage pay, but where does that leave the company driver?
Even today the driver is expected to donate time so they have time to drive but with the advent of "EOBR's" we are at a big disadvantage because we can't "adjust" our logs to let us not show that time, we just have to donate the time and money so that the company doesn't have to pay more to get the job done.
That is unfair at best and unlawful at worst.
Driving is no longer an incentive job, it is an hourly job like any other and should be addressed as such. Most road drivers have to live in their trucks for 168 hours a week to get paid for the 70 that they are allowed to work and they shouldn't have to donate any of that time. Actually they don't even have 70 hours, that's for 8 days. Spending weeks away from home and living in truckstops the 98 hours a week that they are off should get them decent wages. Even though the company furnishes a bunk for them to sleep in it is hardly "home", just convenient.
If the industry got together they could work this out in a way that would be good for everyone and probably help with driver retention. The only thing stopping this from happening is the company's belief that it will cost them more money than they can afford.
I often wonder why there is always money to afford nice salaries and perks for management and office staff to have paid sick leave, holidays, insurance and the like but never enough to pay the key personel that do the actual work that makes it possible for the business to exist at all.
The only reason trucking is a good living is because we get to work almost twice as many hours as everyone else and if you look at it that way we are not much more than unskilled minimum wage employees, but I challenge anyone to ride along with a driver making delivers in any major city and see for yourself the skill level that is required to manuever a 70 foot rig around in areas designed for straight trucks without damaging the equipment or other property.
All that said, It's time for a change. Start paying everyone a decent hourly rate without causing the Government to pass legislation to force it to happen.
All you company drivers who would like to help this happen, go to our website and join our peaceful movement to enlighten as many as possible about our needs. http://www.FairWageCoalition.org Thanks !