A trade association representing 97 major labor unions is warning President Joe Biden that the supply chain crisis roiling the United States could get worse if he doesn’t ease his coronavirus vaccine mandate.
In a Nov. 3 open letter to Biden, the International Foodservice Distributors Association asked for “flexibility for transportation and supply chain essential workers, particularly truck drivers who spend most of their time in their trucks and have minimal contact with colleagues and customers.”
The IFDA underscored that its members “unequivocally support the use of vaccines” but are concerned the mandate will “cripple an already strained supply chain.”
“We estimate companies covered by the mandate could lose 37% of drivers at a time when the nation is already short 80,000 truck drivers,” the group warned.
Last week, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration promulgated a Biden administration rule forcing private businesses with more than 100 employees to mandate coronavirus vaccines or submit to weekly testing. Unvaccinated workers must also wear masks all day.
Numerous American workers, including countless truckers, slammed the mandate as dictatorial and abusive.
Sadaya Morris, a 28-year-old truck driver, said Biden’s vaccine mandate will hurt the already flailing trucking industry.
“It is going to be very detrimental,” she told WPVI-TV in Philadelphia. “I know a lot of drivers that are against the vaccine especially because it doesn’t hold any type of real value to prevent you from getting COVID.”
The IFDA had started its letter to Biden by pointing out that it’s a broad coalition representing the agriculture, food service, trucking, warehousing, manufacturing, retail, construction and energy sectors.
The trade association explained that while it represents numerous different industries, “we share the common burden of current supply chain disruptions, which are driving up prices and leading to a growing shortage of goods in the United States, with the holidays just around the corner.”
The IFDA also urged the Biden administration to ease the crippling bottlenecks at ports that are inflaming the supply backlog.
“We encourage the Administration to continue to investigate the causes of inefficiencies at our nation’s ports, draw input from a wide variety of supply chain stakeholders, and work collaboratively to minimize the bottlenecks and operational practices that prevent the seamless movement of cargo through the supply chain,” the group wrote.
The country’s largest unions were signatories to the open letter. Combined, these groups represent virtually every good and service Americans consume daily:
- International Bottled Water Association
- Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America
- United Fresh Produce Association
- Brick Industry Association
- Auto Care Association
- International Dairy Foods Association
- National Energy & Fuels Institute
- Pet Industry Distributors Association
- Council of Fashion Designers of America
- Independent Electrical Contractors
On Friday, the American Trucking Associations urged Biden to exempt truck drivers from his vaccine mandate and expressed cautious optimism that OSHA exemptions apply to them.
“Drivers spend the vast majority of their workday alone in the cab and outside,” ATA President Chris Spear said in a news release.
“The rule published yesterday exempts employees who exclusively work outdoors or remotely and have minimal contact with others indoors, and all indications thus far from the Department of Labor suggest this exemption does apply to the commercial truck driver population,” he said.
Spear said it’s especially critical for the White House to be flexible because there simply aren’t enough truckers.
“Given the nationwide shortage of truck drivers, it is vital that our industry has the relief it needs to keep critical goods moving, including food, fuel, medicine and the vaccine itself,” he said.
Imagine how enraging it must feel to be unable to get life-saving medicine thanks to Sleepy Joe. #Bidenadministration #cancer #Coronavirus #Inflation #JoeBiden #theeconomy #USnews #vaccine https://t.co/ll5qWpR99w
— Conservative Tribune (@conserv_tribune) October 25, 2021
Opinion: Don’t rant about short-staffed stores and supply chain woes. Try to lower expectations. https://t.co/3CLpV5HXbG
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) October 19, 2021
This is Biden’s America. And we’re not even a whole year into this failed presidency.
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