There is no doubt 2020 has brought change to the trucking industry. During the height of the pandemic, truck drivers were heralded as “heroes” for the work they do in this country. Truckers were applauded for their efforts in keeping the store shelves stocked with much-needed supplies. They were given exemptions to haul certain goods to ensure that they arrived as quickly as possible. There were grateful Americans who would show up at truckstops to give drivers a warm meal, snacks, or a “goodie bag” of treats just to show their appreciation for their efforts.
Most of the drivers I have met do not consider themselves “heroes” just for doing their job. Most drivers are just trying to run a business, a small business. One that just last year, was at the center of attention and praised for their persistence to deliver the goods where and when needed.
Now, here we are in 2021. Oh, how things change. The California AB5 law has resurfaced, threatening to dramatically affect independent contractors in the state. Those very same independent contractors that they so greatly appreciated last year for the work they do, are now under attack from this law. Had this law taken effect before 2020, there could have been a much different picture of the trucks delivering supplies last year.
There is also the PRO Act in Washington. For those unaware, the PRO Act (Protecting the Right to Organize Act) is said to mimic the California AB5 law, essentially taking the CA AB5 law nationwide. It has yet to be passed in Washington, but it is something to keep an eye on.
In 2020, from reading the news, you would have thought trucks were driven by an army of Superman and Wonder Woman clones. This year, those very same “heroes” have their small business livelihoods threatened by the California AB5 law and potentially the PRO Act.
What will this country do without the independent truck driver?
As an independent contractor/truck driver/owner, I have never thought of myself as a hero just for doing my job, I am just trying to run a business. I do find it odd how quickly truck drivers went from Heroes to Zeroes. The CA AB5 law and the PRO Act threaten to make Superman a permanent Clark Kent.