A group of U.S. truckers is organizing a strike under the umbrella of the Facebook group StopTheTires2020. They plan to shut down trucking over the four-day Thanksgiving weekend.
The group, which was founded on Nov. 6, attempted to organize a one-day trucking strike on Nov. 11 on Veterans Day. There was some participation but not enough to satisfy the group. The group's overall purpose is to protest President-elect Joe Biden's proposed Green New Deal and any potential ban on fracking.
Why are truck drivers going on strike in 2020?
Truckers in the U.S. are concerned about general labor issues like unsatisfactory COVID-19 protections for drivers, wages, as well as potential policies under the next U.S. president. President-elect Biden's policies urge a transition to renewable energy sources and a ban on fracking.
Jeremy Rewoldt, the founder of the StopTheTires2020 group on Facebook, didn’t intend to start a movement. He wanted to start a discussion among fellow truck drivers. In an interview with TheTrucker, Rewoldt explained that the group ballooned to over 10,000 members overnight and over 67,000 members within a week.
A potential ban on fracking is a major reason why truck drivers don't approve of Biden’s policies. FreightWaves said that Biden “clarified that his proposal only opposes hydraulic fracking on federal lands, not all fracking.”
Rewoldt has stated that he's absolutely against blocking or slowing traffic. The StopTheTires group also opposes interference with medical supply shipments. He hopes that senators will contact him and arrange to hear perspectives from truckers across the country. He said that the shutdown would end if senators communicate with the truckers.
Rewoldt said, “This is not about me; it’s not about you. It’s about every hard-working person.”
What to expect from the strike
Longtime driver Perry Barger of Kentucky said that he didn’t join the Veterans Day protest because “shutting down and hurting the country is the least patriotic thing someone could do. I know my father would have been outraged at the thought of me doing this.”
Not all trucking organizations are against Biden or his policies. American Trucking Associations issued a congratulatory statement on Nov. 7 to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris that said, “Trucking’s story speaks to all of America, not one specific political party.”
When are truck drivers going on strike?
The upcoming strike is planned for the entire Thanksgiving holiday weekend on November 26–29. It isn't known how many drivers will take part in sidelining their trucks over that weekend or the impact that the strike might have.
Rewoldt has received criticism for scheduling a strike during the holiday weekend. He explained to TheTrucker that many drivers already shut down on those dates anyway, which means half of the participation automatically. He said, “If we can get another 25 percent to shut down for the cause, that’s 75 percent of the truckers not running. That’s enough to get attention for our cause.”