OOIDA to grocery stores: Help keep truckers safe

April 14, 2020

Mark Schremmer

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In a letter to members of the grocery industry, OOIDA asked for assistance to help keep truck drivers safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

OOIDA sent the letter on Tuesday, April 14, to the grocery industry as well as to such businesses as Walmart, Target, CVS and Walgreens, to address the difficulties truck drivers are facing.

“While we realize virtually every industry is struggling to deal with COVID-19, we are seeking your help to make things a little easier and safer for our nation’s truck drivers,” OOIDA wrote in a letter signed by Executive Vice President Lewie Pugh.

OOIDA asked for the businesses’ assistance in making sure truck drivers can access supplies that will keep them safe.

“We are currently receiving several hundred calls daily from drivers who are unable to buy essential supplies to protect themselves from COVID-19,” Pugh wrote. “Basic items like paper towels, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes are nearly impossible to find right now. The irony is that truckers are hauling these supplies, but they are unable to actually buy them.”

The Association requested that these stores at least give truck drivers an opportunity to buy these items and for the stores to allow truck drivers to use their rest rooms.

“We are asking your respective companies to make these essential items available to truck drivers for purchase or through donations,” Pugh wrote. “These supplies are the only protections truckers have to defend themselves from COVID-19. It would also be nice if truckers were able to use your restroom facilities when they are delivering freight to your warehouses or retail business locations.”

Supply chain

OOIDA said that keeping truck drivers save should be a priority for everyone.

“Truckers are on the front lines of the supply chain,” Pugh wrote. “If they get sick, the supply chain will be disrupted more than it already is, which is precisely why it is important to support them as much as reasonably possible.”

Click here for the latest updates on state and federal government orders and other information that truckers need to deal with the coronavirus crisis.

Mark Schremmer

Mark Schremmer, senior editor, joined Land Line in 2015. An award-winning journalist and former assistant news editor at The Topeka Capital-Journal, he brings fresh ideas, solid reporting skills, and more than two decades of journalism experience to our staff.