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Archive for the ‘Women Truckers’ Category

I will keep this brief.

In the following court documents from two separate cases involving two separate major entry level truck driver training fleets a number emerged that caught my attention. It is a number not widely cited when we hear about every three months from the trucking lobby industry groups that claim they are suffering from a crisis they call a, “truck driver shortage”.

In the 10 years since I became a truck driver, I have seen over recruiting, low pay, poor and unsafe training, thousands of new people attempting to become truck drivers but being churned through below minimum wage trucking jobs and leaving the industry before they reach the six-month mark. During that time, they work for such low wages they can barely survive but regardless, they move America’s freight and it gets delivered to it’s destination. The business model to use student low wage labor until they quit, use mainstream media and novice journalists to run “truck driver shortage” articles and stories on a recurring basis is a scheme to feed new people into a meat grinder. Some survive, like me, most do not. Even those who might survive that first year may jump from fleet to fleet without fully realizing how they are set up to fail.

Experience has little value in most major fleets represented by the trucking lobby because experience requires the pay and benefits a reasonable person would expect to perform one of the top 10 most dangerous jobs to have. Student truck drivers are a dime a dozen. They are clueless, vulnerable and the job is so invisible, the industry can easily conceal crash rates in student fleets and the turnover rate which is much higher than the industry average which by itself it grossly high.

So, let’s get back to that number.

Here is the testimony from one of the cases:

“Turnover among drivers new to the industry is higher. Further, turnover in Truck Driving schools is often much higher, sometimes as much as 200%.” ~ Tom B. Kretsinger, Jr

The late Tom B. Kretsinger, Jr was a former president and CEO of American Central Transport, he served on the Board of Directors of the American Trucking Association, he was a Chairman of the ATA Litigation Center, the Truckload Carriers Association, and the Missouri Trucking Association. His testimony that cites this turnover rate not widely known to most people who work in the trucking industry appears EEOC v New Prime, Inc. on Page 2-3

When I first read the number, I thought he must have exaggerated. Although I personally saw a system of churning student labor at Covenant Transport and have worked closely with student truck drivers over the past 9 years, I wouldn’t have thought that a turnover rate that high could be so well concealed.

To claim you have a shortage of labor when you have a 200% turnover rate of your labor very simply says you have a horrible place to work!

In August when the organization I founded REAL Women in Trucking received the first documents from our Motion to Intervene to unseal documents in the CRST Sex Harassment case were sent to me, again I stumbled upon this very large turnover rate that is much high than we hear from the trucking lobby organizations.

“Driver turnover rates in the over-the-road transportation industry reach approximately 165% annually. (D-App. 2, Brueck Declaration, ¶4). Given the difficulty posed by the labor market in hiring experienced drivers, CRST focuses on hiring entry-level drivers and offers both in-house and third-party training opportunities. (D-App. 5, Declaration of Laura Wolfe Declaration, ¶4). To keep pace with labor demands and turnover, CRST’s goal is to hire 7,000 drivers per year. (Id.)” (Unsealed Resistance to Motion for Class Certification Notice Regarding Filing of Redacted Documents: Cathy Sellars, Claudia Lopez and Leslie Fortune vs. CRST EXPEDITED, INC., Page 7)

The section above was written by lawyers for CRST based on testimony in the case.

To anyone who has moderate intelligence it is clear to see that these training fleets have developed a model to hire thousands of new people who work over 70 hours a week pulling freight for companies like Boeing, Victoria’s Secret, Bath and Body Works, Alcoa and many others while also working off their tuition, and are paid barely enough to cover their expenses. The company never seems to fill its labor shortage with the thousands of workers it trains which they admit by citing the turnover rate.

Eight years ago I wrote this article comparing the truck driver shortage to the movie Pinocchio and it’s as true today as it was when I wrote it. Then there is the “Qualified” Truck Driver Shortage, this is a little different.

Training fleets like CRST, Covenant Transport, New Prime and other carriers like them do not target experienced qualified drivers. They do not pay well enough to retain them.  Therefore, the types of companies who ONLY hire experienced drivers and ARE truly experiencing difficulty finding qualified drivers must ask themselves a couple questions. Are we paying enough to retain a qualified driver to perform one of the top 10 most dangerous jobs to hold? Do we have a toxic work culture affecting retention? and finally , If you are wondering why so many people are entering truck driver training but they never become qualified truck drivers that apply for experienced only fleets, look n

o further than the major training carriers who are getting special treatment from the FMCSA.

The moral of the story on the “truck driver shortage” is the same as when I wrote about it back in 2010 here.

 

Don’t turn into a Jackass like Pinocchio believing that entering truck driver training will be like going to Pleasure Island. For many people it’s just a way to get donkey’s to work in the salt mines for as long as they last.

 

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MEDIA CONTACT: Kristine M. Gobbo

561-463-0777, Kristine@spectrum-pr.com

REAL Women in Trucking to Bring Advocacy, Education to the Great American Trucking Show                     

LAKE WORTH, Fla. (July 26, 2017) – REAL Women in Trucking, Inc. (RWIT) will participate in its first trade show, the Great American Trucking Show, held August 24 – 26 in Dallas, Texas. RWIT is a grassroots, driver-led 501 (c) 6 trade organization formed by seasoned female commercial motor vehicle drivers, providing information and resources for fellow drivers, prospective CDL students, trucking executives and the non-trucking community to increase safety on the roadways.

“We’re excited to not only participate in our first show, but also provide much-needed advocacy and education for lady truckers and all commercial drivers. We are very grateful to our sponsors, Ackermann & Tilajef, P.C. and Truckers Justice Center, who have strong ties with the trucking industry and are true partners in increasing fairness and safety,” said Desiree Wood, Founder/President of RWIT.

Sponsored by Craig Ackermann Esq., founder of the California-based law firm, Ackermann & Tilajef, P.C., RWIT will host the “Ask a Lawyer – Q & A” for drivers. The session will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, August 25 and will be moderated by Wood. Expert attorneys on hand will include Paul Taylor and Peter Lavoie from Minnesota-based Truckers Justice Center and Steve Arenson from the New York City-based Arenson, Dittmar & Karman firm. They will address driver inquiries on a variety of topics, including sexual harassment, employment labor, lease violations, DAC reporters, misclassified drivers, and more. Questions can be asked anonymously, and anyone who cannot attend the event is encouraged submit questions in advance toinfo@realwomenintrucking.org. Seating is limited.

RWIT’s booth number is 8052, located near OnRamp to Health and across from Operation Roger Pet Transport. The booth will provide information about the organization, significant recent legal cases that were won on behalf of truck drivers, as well as upcoming special events.

Sponsored by Truckers Justice Center, a specialization area for Taylor & Associates, Ltd., RWIT will also host the “Lady Trucker Panel Discussion” on the main exhibit floor stage at 4 p.m. on Friday, August 25. The panel will be moderated by RWIT Treasurer and longtime trucker, Idella Hansen. Panelists include Cheryl Bean, Cheryl Pollard, Christina Dills and Sonja Tucci, women truck drivers from different sectors of the industry. They will discuss pros and cons of the types of work they perform, and their concerns for the industry. Both the “Ask a Lawyer – Q & A” and “Lady Trucker Panel Discussion” sessions will be recorded for the RWIT YouTube Channel.

At the trade show booth, RWIT will raffle one VIP package per day to the Phoenix International Raceway – Camp Out in the Desert, which is held during NASCAR weekend in November, a $300.00 value, plus other giveaways, including the upcoming Lady Trucker Cruise. RWIT representative will also film two-minute lady truck driver “SPEAK YOUR MIND!” videos for the RWIT YouTube Channel.

In addition, Hansen is hosting the daily Idella’s Puppy Paradise for trucking dogs, after exhibit hours from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the TA/Petro Truck Parking Community at Fair Park.

For more information on RWIT and activities at the Great American Trucking Show, visitwww.realwomenintrucking.com or email info@realwomenintrucking.org.

– RWIT –

 

 

About REAL Women in Trucking, Inc.:

REAL Women in Trucking, Inc. promotes safety by educating the public about unsafe truck driver training and has created a network of support for women entering trucking. The mission of REAL Women in Trucking, Inc. is to deliver highway safety through leadership, mentorship, education and advocacy.

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Here is some personal insight on why there is a sudden 2015 “image” of Women in Trucking campaign targeted at women truckers. Perhaps the “image” that needs improvement the most is industry executives, including the women who colluded to cover-up sexual harassment and discrimination in entry-level driver training carriers.

2014 was a year of milestones for the REAL Women in Trucking which was founded in response to the lack of responsible representation from the trucking industry. We finally launched our membership organization and experienced a number of transitions, triumphs,and bittersweet moments. Each achievement, no matter how small has moved us a little closer to the organization we wish to become.

The big news on December 23, 2014 was that an appellate court overturned the $4 Million fee award granted to CRST Van Expedited in the Class Action Sex Harassment Case. Here is the link: “Universal Finding” that EEOC claims against CRST Trucking are without foundation fee award reversed“.

The history of the legal debacle that served injustice to so many aspiring women truckers is worthy of a suspense motion picture script. Here is the synopsis> Poorly educated , disenfranchised women struggling to make a new life for themselves, driven by faith and determination enter truck driver training. They naively believe that if they work hard and show aptitude for the work, they can live a life of freedom from office shackles, the loneliness of empty nest syndrome or escape from toxic relationships. Alas, something sinister is underfoot, a corporate system set up for failure, a training system chock full of internal support that does not work, trainers and co-drivers who are empowered by a weak misconduct reporting system and a female trucking student population that are viewed as “fresh meat” , an opportunity for predators and controls freaks. A potential victim to be isolated for selfish pleasures. Not all of the victims are women, the men rarely report the abuse and the few courageous women that make it through the trucking obstacle course to reach out for help find they are shouted down into silence by seasoned female drivers. Intimidated into silence by female executives and organizations who accept sponsor dollars from the most offensive carriers. The road to becoming a qualified lady truckers becomes an abyss for those who dare to “STAND UP AND SPEAK OUT ON INJUSTICE“. (more…)

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MEDIA CONTACT: Kristine M. Gobbo

561-463-0777, Kristine@spectrum-pr.com

REAL Women in Trucking, Inc. Launches to Advocate for Urgently Needed Industry Changes while Supporting Female Truckers

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (February 11, 2015) – The promise of a fresh start and great pay draws thousands of people, including many women, to become truck drivers, but fundamental flaws in the driver recruiting and training process are putting female truckers, and all drivers on major highways, at risk. A newly launched trade association, REAL Women in Trucking, Inc. (RWIT), is working to change the industry from the inside out, and seeks the community’s help to raise awareness and support for issues that put drivers in danger.

RWIT was initially formed in 2010 by female truckers to protest poor conditions that were not being effectively addressed by the trucking industry. The women found the driver training process to be a harrowing experience, as they received little training, even driving tractor-trailers without proper instruction. Worse, training often included being paired with drivers who verbally and physically abused the women, and made aggressive sexual advances. (more…)

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