Saturday, March 22, 2008

Truckers Strike Out

Uh-oh—here we go again.
There is a grass-roots effort percolating among the American Trucking Association to stage a trucker’s strike April 1 over the high price of diesel.

Diesel fuel is north of $4/gallon right now.
The irony is…a truckers strike could conceivably make the price go up, if fuel transport drivers join in the strike, stalling deliveries of fuel to truck stops.

Alan Burkhart is a contributor to the American Truckers at War blogsite, and makes some compelling points in an argument against the strike:

Truckers can’t afford to strike.
Owner/operators need to work to pay for their rigs and fuel…and the bill’s don’t stop coming in, just because the truckers aren’t.

There are unintended consequences from a trucker’s strike that could do more harm than good, especially to people who aren’t targets of truckers’ ire. Empty store shelves and medicine shortages would work against the truckers’ credibility.

Will an American truckers’ strike get the attention of those responsible for fuel prices?
Doubtful. The Saudis’ sure aren’t going to care.

And in an argument between a trucker who wants to strike, and the company he drives for—guess who wins, and who loses his job?

I admire the spirit and tenacity of American truck drivers. But the notion of effecting change in fuel prices by staying off the road on April 1 is a fool's errand.


Alan said...

Well, I'm glad *someone* sees it my way. Brent, if truckers go on strike, the impact on innocent Americans will be devastating. Many of my fellow truckers are angry beyond reason because they see their livelihoods slipping away. Trucking has never been easy, but right now it's just plain ridiculous. Still, striking would only make matters worse. The effect on the supply / demand ratio of all consumer goods could make even the barest necessities unaffordable.

And you're right - motor fuels would most likely become more expensive. We need a break out here, but a strike is NOT the way to make it happen.

Check out the page linked below. It charts commercial fuel cost and expenses. The numbers are depressing.

Thanks and Best Wishes
Alan Burkhart

Frederick (SilverSurfer) Schaffner said...

Professional drivers are asking American citizens to participate in the "National Shut-Down"

This is an issue effecting all of us and we MUST take a stand NOW. Our government IS a major contributing factor in the outrageous price of fuel...we must take this action to get their attention. All other avenues has only fallen on deaf ears - our government is ignoring the will, and needs, of the American people.

Anonymous said...

From all I have heard and read the saudies are not the problem completley. Big oil is the ones making the money and screwing the consumer. How aboult federal oil refineries? I know we don't need more gov. sticking their nose in private industry but this is getting to be a national problem that our gov should be in to protect the every day consumer. How about splitting up big oil like they did telecommunications. Then maybe big oil profits will fall more in line with what the rest of us get for inflation and cost of living. Since when does demand increase the cost of manufacturing as opposed to cost of manufacturing? The oil companies have us by the short hairs and are gouging for all gov. will allow!

killabytes said...

It's not the American Trucking Association that's calling for the strike, it's independent truck drivers. If the ATA or OOIDA called for a strike they'd go to jail for a very long time as they are trade organizations and it's against federal law for them to call for a strike, support a strike, etc..

Also the ATA isn't an association for truck drivers. ATA represents the big companies like Swift, JB Hunt etc..They don't care a thing about regular drivers.

Anonymous said...

Here's a news flash. The Saudis won't care because they're not the ones raising our fuel prices. they're making the same $$$ as they were last year, once you take into consideration that the dollar is being devalued. If you're looking to blame someone, try making it the oil companies whining about how they're having to pay more for oil, at the same time that they're posting record profits. Try blaming the Federal Reserve, that is throwing the US Dollar into a tailspin. Blame Congress and the American people for standing by and letting it happen.

Truck9009 said...

Having seen the difference in prices between gas and diesel ranging up to 85 cents per gallon, who can blame them? If Exxon and the other bloodsuckers raised the prices of gas at the same rate, the people would have already stormed Washington, demanding that something be done. How long can Americans stand by and be squeezed by oil companies who post record profits and offer the lame excuse that it's the rise in oil prices from OPEC? There is plenty of oil. It's a matter of refineries being run at a fraction of their capacities, creating an artificial shortage of finished product. Exxon alone: 2006, $39.5billion...2007, $40billion..."Feb 1, 2007 ... Exxon Mobil Corp. posted the largest annual profit in US history." And that's just one company.
Has anybody thought of suggesting that the American people JOIN the strike? It's your mouths and those of your children that these are stealing from.

Anonymous said...

I think it's time that the "innocent" Americans pay for a little of what this country going to go into. We aren't allowed to drill our own oil, causing us to be dependent on foreign oil. Have you looked at your electric bill lately? how about your home heating oil bill? I think it's about time the moron's in the public start seeing that fuel prices for trucks, which they have always said wasn't a concern of theirs, hits them in the rear. Let the government finally get a ticked off at our government, and send a message....DRILL FOR OUR OWN OIL! This isn't something taking money away by taxing companies is going to solve. Just remember, whatever taxes are placed on companies, will always filter down through to the consumer.

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