Washington, DC — Following the Labor Department’s monthly report on the state of the consumer price index, Accountable.US released a new analysis revealing how the trucking industry is blaming a self-inflicted driver shortage for supply chain woes while simultaneously profiteering off the inflation crisis and lobbying against pro-worker legislation.
While trucking companies play the blame game, the report highlights that drivers’ pay has been more than halved from an adjusted median of $110,000 in 1980 to just $47,130 in 2020. In addition, drivers have reported that the shortage is also due to appalling working conditions, including 70-hour workweeks with no overtime pay, homelessness, and reliance on food stamps, all while taking on massive debt.
Big trucking companies’ historically high freight costs are being passed onto consumers in a big way, but the excuses the industry makes for it don’t hold water. Long before the pandemic and current supply chain challenges, the trucking industry made conscious decisions to gut wages, cut corners on safety, and do nothing as thousands of workers inevitably had enough. Somehow with a straight face, the industry now blames its rate hikes on labor shortages even as they lobby to keep their remaining workers from collectively bargaining for better pay, benefits and treatment. The big trucking companies boasting of massive recent profits and rewarding their shareholders millions have even less cause for driving up costs on everyday families. Like so many other industries during the health crisis, big trucking companies are rigging the game in their favor – choosing to profiteer rather than keep consumer costs low and treat their workers fairly.”
Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US
- Knight-Swift Transportation enjoyed “hypergrowth” in Q4 2021 from rates that “surged” 25%—meanwhile the company spent $120.7 million on shareholder handouts in 2021 and in 2019 was subject to a $100 million settlement with 20,000 drivers for unlawfully misclassifying them as non-employees, deducting their pay for fuel, insurance, and other routine expenses.
- TFI International Inc. raised rates by about 6.9% after it touted “record” results in its Q3 2021 and was in the “strongest position” in its history—meanwhile, its CEO complained about “‘a lack of drivers‘” after the company cut 560 Teamsters, planned to close four terminals, and was subject to a federal labor complaint over making drivers work longer hours.
- ArcBet Corporation raised rates 6.9% after its “third record-setting quarter in a row” in its Q3 2021 and touted nearly $141.9 million in stock buybacks before joining a $42 million investment in remote-controlled forklifts, which could be “a potential counter to rising wages.”
- Old Dominion Freight Line Inc. announced a 4.9% rate increase after reporting “‘new company records‘” in its Q3 2021 and spending $668.4 million on shareholder handouts in 2021’s first nine months—meanwhile, the company complained about labor shortages after it took firmly anti-labor positions in its disclosures and had a CEO pay ratio of 105 to 1 in 2020.
SEE MORE FROM ACCOUNTABLE.US:
- REPORT: Despite Record Profits, Shipping Industry Is Lobbying Against Bill to Crack Down on Supply Chain Profiteering
- Pandemic Profiteering: Procter & Gamble, J.B. Hunt, and KB Home
- REPORT: Republicans in Congress Quick to Forget Their Obstruction of Supply Chain-Strengthening Bills
- REPORT: Major Corporations Pump Up Own Prices Despite Billions in Profits While Republicans Play Blame Game on Inflation