Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Ball Is in The Trucker's Court

I have said before that I am neither pro nor anti union. If joining a labor organization resulted in substantially raising my income, well then, sign me up. If not, I'm don't intend to have union dues deducted for nothing. That would be stupid. On the flip side, if I were a business owner/manager and there was a rabble rouser stirring the union pot then they would be out the door. No one is immune from making a job related mistake and at first opportunity the union "organizer" type would be pounding the pavement for other employment.

Does the trucking business need to be organized? A case can certainly be made for some. At this time there is way more freight than there are truckers to haul it. In the chemical trucking industry (which I am most familiar with), it has come to the point where the operations department of major chemical carriers can pick and chose their liquid freight. What a switch from a few short years back. The ball is in the trucking company's court, which is to say that it is in the trucker's court. Most truckers however will sit back and do nothing but bitch when their employer raises the rates on the freight hauled without passing along a pay increase to the guys doing the actual work. They (the company) plays the shell game and tries to keep the rate increase a secret (the word always gets out) and the truckers all get hot under the collar and raise hell, usually to no avail.

I certainly have a few suggestions that I don't have time for right now (perhaps this weekend) for the average trucker (company hand and "lease" operator) to get a bigger slice of the pie.

Stay tuned.

1 comment:

Jayhawk said...

Actually, I've been on both sides of the union/employer relationship, and neither is as simple as it looks.

The union from a worker standpoint is good for an average worker, supporting higher wages and work rules, but it hampers a worker who has initiative and wants to get ahead. That worker is restrained by those same work rules and is held back by seniority requirements.

From the employer side, yes there are higher wages and work rules. But the work rules can also work in your favor, and they allow you to know where you stand, reducing uncertainty. I never had any real issues with the union when I was on the employer side.