On Tuesday, April 14th, President Trump tapped several large trucking and industry CEO’s and the President of the American Trucking Association to lead the transportation sector’s “revival” as part of his Great American Economic Revival Industry Groups. While the newly formed groups certainly had some big names, such as FedEx, UPS, YRC, JB Hunt, and heck, even Uber. There is one trucking trade organization also included in the revival efforts, the ATA, which is the trucking association most if not all of these trucking companies are members of.
What is interesting to us is the omission of smaller trade groups like the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, who directly represent, or are supposed to represent the independent truckers and small businesses who are out here running everyday. They were not included at all.
The OOIDA is speaking out in a letter to members. “We’re extremely disappointed the White House has ignored small trucking businesses in favor of publicly-traded mega carriers, who certainly won’t use their positions to address your needs. Hell, most don’t even know what the needs of owner-operators or professional drivers are under normal circumstances, let alone during a national crisis.”
Uber’s CEO Dara Khosrowshani was also tapped. Is he the voice of the small truckers out there? I don’t think Uber has the pulse of trucking! Just a few months ago they drastically cut accessorial pay to small carriers in efforts to conform to “industry averages” in an attempt to become profitable. Is that who is going to represent small trucking? Unlikely, maybe he is there to try and help Uber’s ride-hailing application better footing as more and more states crack down on the gig-economy.
While we can only speculate on the reasoning behind the decision, we really have nothing else to go on. It seems that the Administration might have simply forgotten about us in all the COVID-19 mayhem. Hopefully we can remind them.