Brexit. COVID-19. The national driver shortage. Is the pressure about to cause an explosion for hauliers?
Earlier this year a private Facebook group titled “Professional Drivers Protest Group” launched, encouraging drivers to strike in a stand for a positive change in the haulage industry. Drivers from the group have reported they want increased pay, better working conditions especially in rest stops and to be supported during the ongoing national driver shortage. However, after hearing hauliers pleas to grant temporary visas for drivers across Europe to help during the shortage, a Home Office Spokesperson responded “the British people repeatedly voted to end free movement and take back control of our immigration system. Employers should invest in our domestic workforce instead of relying on labour from abroad.”
Whilst the Government ruled out temporary visas they recently announced plans to test more learner drivers to get them on the road. In this package of measures, the government announced the DVSA increased throughput from 1,150 successful passes a week to 1,500. Yet with the country being 100,000 drivers short, it will take over a year to get the industry running at a fully operational and efficient capacity. The Government also announced plans to upgrade drivers working conditions by bettering lorry parks, although it is yet to be seen what these improvements may entail.
In an attempt to make their demands heard the Professional Drivers Protest Group has announced plans for a driver strike on the 5th November 2021. In the build-up to Christmas, the strike could prove detrimental to companies across the country, especially if the current 4,300 members take part.
Hauliers have continued to work tirelessly through COVID, the impacts of Brexit and the ongoing driver shortage. Will a driver strike help them in their search for improvement in the industry?
What are your thoughts on the driver strike? Will it help or damage the transport sector?