PMTC calls for vaccine mandate delay, citing low vaccination rates among truckers

Canada’s Private Motor Truck Council (PMTC) wants vaccine authorization for cross-border truck drivers delayed, citing an internal survey that showed just 67.3 % of such drivers are fully vaccinated.

The survey concluded that about 74% of motorists expect to be vaccinated by January 15. But even that number falls far short of the 86% of Canadians 12 years and older, who, according to the department Health Canada, has been fully vaccinated to this day.

Vaccines against covid-19
(Illustration: istock)

35 cross-border fleets responded to a PMTC survey representing 6,123 truckers, and they predict vaccination rates will increase to 80.7% if the mission is delayed to April 15.

Canada has set January 15 as the final deadline for mandatory vaccination that will apply to truck drivers crossing the border. The US has announced plans for a similar mission to apply this January, and numerous media reports have suggested that January 22 will be the deadline date. was unable to confirm that specific date.

An estimated 120,000 Canadian truckers run cross-border routes, while 40,000 US licensed truck drivers do the same.

As essential workers, truck drivers have so far been exempt from pre-entry vaccine requirements. They have also been dropped from previous federal vaccine regulations that apply to the airline, railroad, and marine industries.

“Our concerns are that this policy will cause severe shortages in the already depleted workforce on both sides of the border,” said PMTC Chairman Mike Millian. Millian said in a letter dated December 1 to government officials in both countries.

“The PMTC board fully supports people getting vaccinated. We trust the science and medical experts tell us that vaccination is the best way for us to come out of this pandemic,” he said.

“No matter how much we encourage this, a certain percentage of the population will not be fully immunized. While this may be unfortunate, it is a fact. ”

Only eight of the cross-border fleets surveyed have a vaccination mission or are expected to have one by January 15.

Lost truck driver

Based on the survey results, PMTC predicts 31,200 drivers will quit the trucking industry in the face of a vaccine-related task at the border, reducing to 22,800 drivers lost if the deadline is extended. until April 15.

Trucking HR Canada reported that Canada had 18,000 unfilled truck driver vacancies in the second quarter of this year.

Six domestic fleets that responded to the PMTC survey said 81.6% of their drivers were fully vaccinated, and one fleet planned to make vaccinations mandatory by January 15.

“Drivers, by the nature of their jobs, are mostly isolated during the day,” says Millian. “Additionally, the transportation industry has put in place many procedures since the beginning of the pandemic, to ensure the safety of their workforce, and therefore, greatly limit the spread of Covid- 19 for the drivers.

“If a review of border vaccinations for essential workers is not something both countries are willing to consider at this point, then we need to take the delay seriously. in enforcement against truck drivers. We need to work on what protocols will be at the border for drivers to show proof of vaccination, to make sure we don’t slow border crossings into a rut. We also need to provide more time for drivers to review and decide to be fully vaccinated, to have time to do it.”

The PMTC’s stance echoes that of the Canadian Cargo Alliance (CTA). While the CTA says many trucking companies report vaccination rates of 85-90%, it also notes that many trucking companies still have lower rates depending on where they are located. PMTC calls for vaccine mandate delay, citing low vaccination rates among truckers


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