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Truckers threaten strike in U.S.

Rubycon

Madame President
Aug 10, 2005
17,770
485
126
What's the chance of this happening?

?It might be a good thing if the drivers strike. They can?t make payments. Maybe if the oil companies bought all the trucks, things would change. Everything in this country is trucked.?

story here
 

BoomerD

No Lifer
Feb 26, 2006
56,564
4,952
126
I remember the trucker's strikes in the 70's. THOSE got pretty nasty.

Since the majority of truckers are now independents not union members, I see virtually no chance of something like this working nor having any impact.

I'm an old time union member myself, and firmly support the rights of collective bargaining, including striking as part of the process, but these folks aren't union members, they're not trying to negotiate a wage package. They're just a group of pissed off truckers (owner-operators) who are losing money with every mile they drive and want to lash out at the rape by Big Oil.

These folks probably feel the pinch of higher fuel prices much more than most of us do, since they burn quite a bit daily, and they have no "mass transit" options...they HAVE to have the fuel to work.

BUT, I really don't see this making any difference. There's always some person who is willing to climb in the cab and undercut them.
Now maybe if they started refusing to haul any of the oil companies' products...:D


Nah, that would affect everyone else...OMFG! My GASOLINE!

People might ignore a basic truckers strike...until it started affecting them...
 

StageLeft

No Lifer
Sep 29, 2000
70,214
2
0
Frig em! Regan should come back and fire them all and find scabs to replace them. I know a lot of these trucks are privately owned, so the scalpers can just use their pickups :)
These folks probably feel the pinch of higher fuel prices much more than most of us do, since they burn quite a bit daily, and they have no "mass transit" options...they HAVE to have the fuel to work.
The majority of us have no reasonable mass transit option.

However, gas is only a small part of my budget. It is a major part of transportations' budget and it must indeed be killing their margins, or at least somebody's. I thought they would just increase their costs and pass it to us, though, in great part.

I agree with you that without a union, this won't do anything. Private individuals cannot effectively strike because they lack a trust in the process and are not accountable, so this won't make a dent.

I don't buy the idea, though, that these guys are being run out of business. If they are, just raise prices. If they have to and other truckers don't, why is that? If they all were forced to raise prices because of the market, you and I would have to pay for them because we need things moved so the idea that a bunch of truckers are going bankrupt is silly.
 

Thump553

Lifer
Jun 2, 2000
11,845
1,167
126
"What's the chance of this happening?" Well there probably will be some nominal form of strike, but the chances of it being the least bit effective or having any significant impact (other than on the drivers staying home) are about 10,000 to 1.

I've been studying the modern trucking industry quite a bit recently. The gripes presently in that article are very real, fuel prices are ridiculously high (and climbing) while revenue and demand are both way down. The fact of the matter is that trucking now is hugely different than it was in the 70's. The trucker's unions are completely broken (except in a few companies like UPS), thanks primarily due to deregulation. Truckers (if they are company drivers) get paid by the mile-starting pay is less than 30 cents a mile and hasn't climbed in a decade. They don't get overtime, rarely paid for breakdown time, time spent sitting at the dock waiting to load/unload, inspection of truck, etc. Hours of service are 11 hours driving a day (max)/14 hours on duty, maximum of 70 per week. Remember, this is a job that you need to be trained for (two weeks to two months, $1000-$7,000+ cost). A trucker turned professor wrote a very eye-opening book a few years back calling modern trucking "sweatshops on wheels" and it's pretty much spot on.

The owner-operators directly compete with the company drivers, plus have the burden of a truck note, repair costs, insurance, etc.

If there was some remote possibility that such a strike would have an effect, rest assured the Bush administration would crush it by allowing Mexican truckers in under NAFTA (currently threatened but pretty stalled) or as guest workers (ala silicon valley). Also, most of the major (and all rabidly nonunion) companies have their own training schools that they can flood with new recruits at any time.

This will be about as effective as the periodic (car) driver strikes against high gas prices, where people vow not to fill up on one particular day.
 

K1052

Lifer
Aug 21, 2003
36,322
10,140
136
Originally posted by: Skoorb
Frig em! Regan should come back and fire them all and find scabs to replace them. I know a lot of these trucks are privately owned, so the scalpers can just use their pickups :)
These folks probably feel the pinch of higher fuel prices much more than most of us do, since they burn quite a bit daily, and they have no "mass transit" options...they HAVE to have the fuel to work.
The majority of us have no reasonable mass transit option.

However, gas is only a small part of my budget. It is a major part of transportations' budget and it must indeed be killing their margins, or at least somebody's. I thought they would just increase their costs and pass it to us, though, in great part.

I agree with you that without a union, this won't do anything. Private individuals cannot effectively strike because they lack a trust in the process and are not accountable, so this won't make a dent.

I don't buy the idea, though, that these guys are being run out of business. If they are, just raise prices. If they have to and other truckers don't, why is that? If they all were forced to raise prices because of the market, you and I would have to pay for them because we need things moved so the idea that a bunch of truckers are going bankrupt is silly.
Increased fuel costs and better container service has been tipping the favor back to railroads who can move a lot more for a lot less money (more fuel efficient too). Freight rail services have freaking exploded over the last few years building new yards and lines to accommodate the demand. Many of the truckers can't compete on a cost basis anymore to a lot of major destinations.

Eventually I suspect most long haul trucking will be gone and truckers will just be moving stuff out of local/regional rail container yards to the customer.
 

ayabe

Diamond Member
Aug 10, 2005
7,451
0
0
Diesel is $4.14 a gallon where I live, there's a breaking point somewhere, these people have to make a living.
 

compman25

Diamond Member
Jan 12, 2006
3,771
2
81
I was an Owner Operator until 2005, when diesel went over $2.50 a gallon I realized I was working too hard for how little I was taking home. I parked my truck and called the bank, told them where their truck was, and to come get it. At that time my truck note was only $1250 a month, but I wasn't willing to work that hard for so little after paying between $1500 and $2000 a week in fuel costs. Rates haven't went up much since then, guys now are nuts, fuel surcharges help but now enough. I went back to being a company driver until 6/2007. Because there are companies like Swift, Schneider, JB Hunt, US Xpress ... you will never have a strike that will work. They already undercut independents by a lot, Swift alone has almost 20,000 trucks on the road. They aren't going to go on strike and neither will their drivers. If their drivers are willing to work for $.30 a mile already and haven't striked, nothing will get them to. Rails are going to be a giant threat either, they may be cheap, but they are slow. There is too much freight that is time sensitive. Plus companies like Swift, Schneider, JB Hunt have their own rail networks already, and they still have trucks going coast to coast. Being an owner operator today sucks and it's not going to get any better ever.
 

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