ATA opposes vaccine mandate protests as Canada threaten to fine, revoke licenses of protesters

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Trucking news and briefs for Monday, Feb. 14, 2022:

ATA decries potential U.S. trucker protests as Canada tightens enforcement

As truck driver protests over cross-border vaccine mandates in Canada near their third week, the American Trucking Associations came out against any similar protests being organized in the United States.

“ATA strongly opposes any protest activities that disrupt public safety and compromise the economic and national security of the United States,” Spear said. “We held serious concerns about the unintended impact a vaccine mandate would have on our nation’s supply chain and ongoing COVID response efforts, which is why ATA challenged the OSHA rule all the way to the Supreme Court – where we prevailed.”

ATA has not challenged the U.S.- and Canadian-imposed vaccine requirements for cross-border commercial haulers, which first sparked the Canadian protests. 

Spear added that his group will continue to advocate for policies that help the trucking industry “keep the supply chain moving, and we’ll do so in ways that do not hinder the safe and timely flow of commerce that everybody depends on.”

North of the border, Ontario Premier Doug Ford on Friday declared a state of emergency in an effort to end the protests that have blocked several border crossings in the province through fines and the potential for license revocation.

In a press conference Friday, Ford, who called the protests in Ottawa a “siege” and an “illegal occupation,” said the province will use “legal authorities to urgently enact orders that will make crystal clear it is illegal and punishable to block and impede the movement of goods, people and services along critical infrastructure.”

Ford said fines for non-compliance with any orders “will be severe, with a maximum penalty of $100,000 and up to a year imprisonment.” Additionally, Ford said Ontario will provide the authority to take away the personal and commercial licenses of drivers who do not comply with the orders.

“While these emergency orders will be temporary, we have every intention to bring new legislation forward that will make these measures permanent in law,” he added.

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Yellow opening two new driving academies

Yellow Corporation (CCJ Top 250, No. 5)is adding two new driving academies to its stable of 14 schools to train people seeking their CDL.

The new academies are located in Marietta, Georgia, and Cincinnati, two of the nation’s top transportation hubs. The company said it plans to open additional locations in 2022.

Students enrolled in the academies are provided classroom training combined with hands-on, behind-the-wheel instruction. The program is tuition-free for all participants.

At the completion of their instruction, trainees sit for the commercial driver’s license test and, upon passage, complete their initial apprenticeship training with veteran Yellow drivers. When all driving qualifications are met, graduates will join Yellow’s driver force.

Yellow’s driving academies are owned and operated by the company. Yellow said in a statement the two new CDL schools would be staffed by Its "longest-serving, most experienced driving professionals (to) provide student instruction and peer-to-peer mentorship."

Yellow said its driving academies are also certified as Department of Labor apprenticeship programs. 

With the addition of the two new locations, Yellow has 16 driving academies nationwide: Atlanta/Marietta Georgia; Charlotte, North Carolina; Chicago; Cincinnati; Cleveland;  Denver; Fort Worth, Texas; Hagerstown, Maryland; Indianapolis; Kansas City, Kansas; Memphis, Tennessee; Nashville; Pico Rivera, California; Portland, Oregon; Salt Lake City; and South Bend, Indiana.