By Chris Talgo, From Center Square

Several groups representing American truckers are pleading with the Biden administration to claw back its vaccine mandate and a new regulation that will make it more difficult to hire new drivers, which is scheduled to go into effect in early 2022.

According to a letter from the American Trucking Associations, Truckload Carriers Association, and others, “We are concerned a mandate will cripple an already strained supply chain.”

The letter goes on to state, “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. … We ask 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 letter comes in response to the recent unveiling of President Biden’s federal vaccine mandate rule, released by OSHA. Per the rule, all private companies with more than 100 employees are required to have all employees vaccinated by Jan. 4, 2022. Under the rule, employers can be fined $14,000 per violation and a whopping $136,532 for those deemed “willful” violations.

Unfortunately, as the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) explains, “TCA repeatedly called on the Administration to heed our warnings regarding this mandate’s impact on the already constrained supply chain, yet they chose to proceed with a disastrous mandate which will undoubtedly ensure the trucking industry loses a substantial number of drivers.”

TCA also issued this ominous warning, “These are the drivers the country is relying upon to deliver food, fuel, and presents for the upcoming holiday season, yet our national leadership has decided these needs must go unmet.” Over the past 18 months, the U.S. supply chain has been upended by economic disruptions due to government-mandated shutdowns, persistent inflation, and policies that have made energy and fuel costs skyrocket


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