Unions, Safety Groups protest 84-hour truck and bus driver hours

by Canadian Shipper

A group of transport unions and associations has written to the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators to express dissatisfaction with the CCMTA’s August 1 decision to endorse the 84-hour truck and bus driver workweek.

The Amalgamated Transit Workers Union, Canadian Auto Workers, Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union, Canadians for Responsible and Safe Highways and the United Steelworkers say they have formally disassociated themselves from the decision.

“Apparently the CCMTA, in concert with trucking companies, supports the 84-hour week, despite the opposition of truck drivers, public safety groups and sleep experts. Your organization should be considering the US regulations
as a guideline, rather than endorsing hours of work that will be a national embarrassment,” said CEP President Brian Payne.

“It is clear that the process followed in arriving at this new standard was heavily biased in favour of the wishes of larger trucking businesses. The so-called hearings of the Transport Committee were merely a charade. The views of my union on this matter have not been considered in any manner that could be described as serious,” said Ken Foster, Canadian Director of the
Amalgamated Transit Union.

Next in the process is a Sept. 20-21 meeting of Transportation Ministers.

“Drivers need more time at home, not less time. Drivers not only need the two full nights sleep, but they need the two full days off to spend time with their families. The proposed changes will now mean that Canada will have some of the longest allowable hours of driving time for truck and bus drivers in the world. This is totally unacceptable and is clearly a step backwards in terms of road safety,” said CAW national representative Dave Tilley.

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