Trucking groups call for action on Driver Inc.

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by Emily Atkins

Teamsters Canada, the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA), and the Association du camionnage du Québec (ACQ) have joined forces to call for urgent federal action to put the brakes on the growing Driver Inc. crisis in the country’s trucking sector.

The Driver Inc. sees truck drivers incorporate, often at the request of dishonest employers, under the guise of paying lower taxes and avoiding other payroll deductions. But in reality, these drivers are indistinguishable from regular employees, lacking truck ownership, route choice, or any real degree of independence or financial risk.

Truckers engaged in Driver Inc. are not only missing out on essential protections like workers’ compensation and employment insurance, but are also being duped into believing they’ll have higher earnings, said François Laporte, president of Teamsters Canada.

The trucking industry and labour unions are urging the federal government to increase investment in enforcement and penalties for those involved in the Driver Inc scam. In addition, they call for a coordinated effort between the CRA, the Labour Program, and provincial governments to protect truck drivers and preserve the integrity of the trucking industry.

“None of this is legal, and they could end up losing tens of thousands if they are audited. Because they lack information about rights and obligations in Canada, new Canadians and temporary foreign workers are particularly vulnerable to this scam.”

“The trucking industry is facing an existential crisis due to a labour abuse and tax avoidance scheme. We need the Canada Revenue Agency and the Labour Program to tackle these issues with the enforcement resources this crisis needs,” said Stephen Laskowski, president of the CTA.

“We need substantial audits on carriers involved in the Driver Inc scam. The laws are already in place, they need to be enforced before it’s too late!”

According to Marc Cadieux, president of the ACQ, Driver Inc. is costing governments at least $1 billion annually.

Drivers taking part in the “Driver Inc” scam have a much harder time claiming employment insurance, overtime pay, vacation pay, severance pay, the ten paid sick days, and other employee benefits accorded under labour legislation. They also report difficulty accessing group health and dental insurance plans, with employers claiming these entitlements are normally reserved for employees – not incorporated entities.

With over 125,000 members, Teamsters Canada represents workers at CP, CN, UPS, Purolator, Robert Transport, countless other trucking companies, and more. They are affiliated with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which represents over 1.2 million workers in North America.

The Canadian Trucking Alliance is a federation of provincial trucking associations, representing over 4,500 trucking companies across the country.

The Association du camionnage du Québec is the trucking industry’s provincial association in Québec, representing over 500 trucking companies in the province.