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Huffington Post reports on proposed strike: "Truckers to Shut Down America"

The following is an article posted on The Huffington Post's website, regarding the call to strike.

The Trucker News Services

9/23/2013

A three-day proposed trucker strike, set for Oct. 11-13 has been promoted by the Facebook group: “Truckers to Shut Down America.”

The following is an article posted on The Huffington Post's website, regarding the call to strike:

The Huffington Post  |  By Amanda Scherker

A new social media rallying call has truckers across America buzzing.

Citing government corruption as its main grievance, a Facebook group dubbed "Truckers to Shut Down America" is calling for a three-day general strike set to take place Oct. 11-13. The page has quickly amassed more than 53,000 Facebook "likes" since its launch on Sept. 15.

Scores of truckers have declared their solidarity with the movement, posting messages like "Thank you, Patriot! Godspeed!" along with selfies taken in their trucks.

While the page's description does not list specific goals or terms of negotiation, the plans for the strike read thus: "Truck drivers will not haul freight! Workers will call in sick! Consumers will not buy or sell anything on this date! Stay home! Buy nothing!"

In addition, a "Ride for the Constitution" event page calls truckers to gather in Washington, D.C., in an effort to "Restore the Constitution, Defund Obamacare, Lower Fuel Prices."

The group did not return requests for comments from The Huffington Post.

This grassroots attempt to organize a truckers' strike was dismissed by the American Trucking Associations (ATA), the largest trade organization for truckers.

"We're not a sponsor or a supporter, and we certainly don't condone it," ATA spokesman Sean McNally told The Huffington Post.

McNally said the movement appears to be using information from a 2006 ATA report about the essential role of truckers in the United States. Among other findings, the report noted that halting trucking could call "significant shortages" to the country "in as little as three days, especially for perishable items."

Given those findings, a successful 72-hour trucker strike, like the one proposed by the Truckers To Shut Down America, would be problematic for the country. However, McNally expressed skepticism on the likelihood of such a large-scale protest taking place.

"There hasn't been a nationwide [trucker] strike of any kind for many years," he said.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) ran a posting on its website saying that the group has nothing to do with truck drivers, and wanted professional truckers to be aware of the fact.

This attempt to gather a crowd of 18-wheelers is the latest in a series of organized protests in D.C. The previous two were unable to reach their target turn-out goals, despite media attention. The 9/11 Million Muslim March, for example, fell exceedingly short of its goal, only managing to attract about 30 protestors. The 2 Million Bikers to D.C. fared better, organizing thousands of bikers in a ride through D.C. (The event took place despite being formally denied a police permit.)

The Truckers, meanwhile, don't appear to be stressing about any potential hurdles they may face along the way: "We do not need a permit. Homeland Security has nothing to say. Everyone will police themselves," the group said in a Facebook post.

 

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

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