Truckers at Fuel Transport have a new reason to roll up their sleeves before January 15, in the form of a $10,000 bonus for those fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
Called the Covid-19 Driver Appreciation Program – and also offered as a thank you for keeping trucks moving during the pandemic – the amount will be paid in 12 monthly installments. Only those who receive two doses of the vaccine will receive the full amount. Fully vaccinated recruits who join the fleet by January 15 will also be eligible.
The January 15 deadline is consistent with federal vaccine regulations that apply to truck drivers crossing the border. But the bonus will even apply to the fleet’s regional drivers.
“These drivers are on the front lines of our work. Rob Piccioni, founder and CEO of Montreal-based Fuel Transport, which employs about 100 truckers, said. “When Covid was successful, we couldn’t afford to give bonuses and appreciation.”
About 85% of truckers were vaccinated before the program was announced, and Fuel’s non-asset third-party logistics and brokerage is ready to take on any delays if needed. But no one pushed back the plan.
This is also the first time the fleet has paid recruitment or retention bonuses of any kind.
“We also need these drivers to be safe and protect the people they’re interacting with.”
– Rob Piccioni
“We feel very good for these drivers, who are unvaccinated and run into the US constantly,” Piccioni said, referring to possible exposure to Covid-19. “You’re likely to have a little more exposure than the average person.”
“We need to ensure the integrity of the workplace,” he added. “We also need these drivers to be safe and protect the people they’re interacting with.”
The crew, already staffed with nurses to support ongoing healthcare initiatives, even hosted a two-hour information session with healthcare professionals to answer questions. Covid-19, vaccines and more, to help relieve any worries.
Earlier during the pandemic, Fuel Transport had actually banned truck drivers from facilities to help prevent the spread of Covid-19. But fleet managers have also heard drivers complain they are being treated like a virus. It is a learning process.
Supply chain concerns
While he is clearly in favor of a vaccine, Piccioni still raises concerns that border-related vaccine missions are being carried out too quickly.
“We have supply chain issues in North America, and right now, even removing 10 percent of the people driving the flow of goods between Canada and the US would have a huge ripple effect,” he said. “.
“I’m pushing and lobbying so that the respective agencies on both sides of the border have the ability to push this out.”
Piccioni believes governments should first look at additional ways to encourage more motorists to get vaccinated.
“They need to get through this. They can’t just be pushed through a small door,” he said. “Let’s create something around promoting vaccines to ladies and gentlemen who have run back and forth across North America with no real guidance.
“They are doing the necessary work that we need.”
https://www.trucknews.com/transportation/fuel-transport-paying-10k-bonus-to-fully-vaccinated-truck-drivers/1003155598/ Fuel Transport pays $10K bonus to fully vaccinated truck drivers