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Election 2020: Trucking industry reacts

Nov. 13, 2020
With Joe Biden as the projected winner of the 2020 U.S. presidential election, members of the trucking industry voiced their opinion on a Biden-led administration.

Since Nov. 3, the race for the 2020 U.S. presidential election has been fraught with controversy, from delayed mail-in ballot counts, to potential fraud in the counting of those ballots. On Nov. 7, Joe Biden was projected as the winner of the election, and since then, President Donald Trump has continued to take legal action toward the possibility of voter fraud in multiple states.

No matter how the election turns out, the trucking industry is bipartisan, with representatives in every state who fight for the industry’s needs and those within it: truck drivers, small businesses, owner-operators, large fleets, and the countless others who make up the trucking industry.

With Biden as the projected winner of the 2020 U.S. presidential election, members of the trucking industry voiced their opinion on a Biden-led administration.

“We congratulate President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris on their hard-earned victory, and we look forward to working with their administration to strengthen the economy and rebuild our national infrastructure,” said Chris Spear, president and CEO of American Trucking Associations (ATA) in a statement on Nov. 7. “Just like the great industry we represent, ATA is about getting the job done. While some exist in Washington to perpetuate problems, we come to the table prepared with solutions. We value sound data and honest dialogue. Above all, we commit to working with anyone willing to work with us. As the Biden Administration rolls up its sleeves and begins the heavy lift of rebuilding America’s ailing infrastructure, it will find a constructive partner in ATA. We stand ready, willing and able to get the job done.”

The Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) congratulated Biden and Harris as well for their “successful presidential election campaign."

“With an office based in Washington, D.C., MEMA can provide resources, timely input, and feedback on potential laws and regulations that could impact the vehicle supplier industry. MEMA is committed to using our valuable knowledge and insight to help guide the Biden administration to develop effective, job-growing policies that will help strengthen U.S. competitiveness in the global marketplace,” said MEMA President and CEO Bill Long. “MEMA stands ready to work with the Biden administration and the new Congress to implement public policies that strengthen U.S. competitiveness and tackle strategic issues, including workforce readiness, technology development,  and a 21st Century infrastructure system."

In a release titled “Teamsters: Biden-Harris victory is a win for workers in 2020 election,” the Teamsters “want to congratulate President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris for their hard-fought victory. This union endorsed it because the Biden-Harris campaign put forward a bold pro-worker agenda that will enhance the ability of hardworking Americans to join together and collectively bargain for better pay and working conditions.”

“It is vital that every voter is heard in this campaign, and that is being done,” said Jim Hoffa, general president of the Teamsters. “Our union worked hard to elect candidates that will stand with working families. We look forward to working with President-elect Biden to make our nation a better place for all working Americans.”

However, some working truckers planned to strike during Veterans Day on Nov. 11 through the StopTheTires2020 Facebook page, which was created on Nov. 6 and now has over 62,000 members, for 24 hours on Veterans Day to show the repercussions if there is a ban on fracking – the process of extracting oil and gas from the ground using high pressurized liquid – which could potentially take millions of jobs, including those from truck drivers. The page states that if the Nov. 11 strike is not effective, truckers will strike again for four full days on Nov. 26-29.

“President Trump has worked diligently for four long years to protect the rights and freedoms of all Americans, and very importantly the blue-collar workers of this country. Without truck drivers, this country would not survive for long,” said StopTheTires Organizer Jeremy Rewoldt in the Facebook post. “If our leaders to not respect that blue collar truck drivers are having to face domestic terrorism, primarily in democrat run cities all over the United States, and that we do not support the banning of fracking in any way, then we will have our second STOP OF TIRES for FOUR full days.”

Rewoldt added that the protest's intention is not to harm anyone and that they do not wish for any companies or private drivers who are supplying any kind of medical supplies or services to participate in the movement. Many truck drivers across the country halted their wheels on Nov. 11 in support of the StopTheTires2020 protest.  

Greg Feary, president and managing partner of Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hanson & Feary, pointed out that the Biden administration has advertised significant changes from the Trump administration that would impact trucking.

“Most prominent are the labor and employment policies that lean toward paternalism, tend to favor the organized labor constituency and likely benefit trial attorneys," Feary told FleetOwner. "These initiatives platformed by the Biden campaign might meet significant resistance if the GOP retains control of the U.S. Senate because many of them involve legislative rather than regulatory action given the substantial change contemplated by the Biden administration.”

Feary pointed to a hotly debated initiative in California that favors employment determinations versus independent contractor determinations.

“Biden has announced strong support for federal laws similar to AB5, which would supplant the ‘economic realties test’ under the Fair Labor Standards Act and possibly also supplant the IRS multi-factor test (historically known as the 20 factor test) for purposes of determining whether an entity was employing rather than arranging an independent contractor relationship with a service provider under payroll tax laws,” Feary said. “The sea change that could result from the significant policy shift in the L&E [labor and employment] arena would certainly spark change across all businesses in America but transportation would indeed feel such changes acutely.” 

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), an organization that has been fighting to defend the rights of small business truckers since 1973, said that the biggest issues facing truck drivers today are the parking shortage, insurance minimums, and hours of service.

“There are always challenges for small-business truckers no matter who is in office or has the majority in Congress,” said Norita Taylor, director of public relations at OOIDA. “We look forward to working with whomever is in charge of the agency and hope to continue pursuing solutions to the issues affecting our members.”

The United States Electoral College is to meet on Dec. 14 to vote and decide who will be the 46th President of the United States of America. 

About the Author

Catharine Conway | Digital Editor

Catharine Conway previously wrote for FleetOwner with a Master of Science in Publishing degree and more than seven years’ experience in the publishing and editorial industries. Based in Stamford, Conn., she was critical to the coordination of any and all digital content organization and distribution through various FleetOwner and American Trucker channels, including website, newsletters, and social media. 

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