WASHINGTON — Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., has introduced legislation to exempt truckers and other essential workers from COVID-19 vaccine mandates that are soon-to-be-implemented by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration at the direction of President Joe Biden.
Dubbed the Keeping Our COVID-19 Heroes Employed act, the measure defines essential workers as anyone who a governing body deems essential or who has been exempt from any restrictions during the pandemic response.
Todd Spencer, president of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, hailed Blackburn for her intervention.
“OOIDA thanks Sen. Blackburn for introducing legislation that will ensure vaccination remains a personal decision for truckers,” Spencer said. “Throughout the pandemic, we provided our members with the most up-to-date information on vaccines but have always maintained that vaccination is a personal choice just like any health decision.”
OOIDA’s stance has been that truckers already are confronted with an excessive amount of regulations and mandates.
“Trucking is one of the most regulated professions in the country, and the ongoing supply chain crisis has exposed the unpaid wait times and other difficult working conditions drivers are often forced to endure,” Spencer said.
“These are just a couple of the reasons the industry has long suffered from an excessively high driver turnover problem. Congress must ensure that the industry can better attract and retain drivers who have always been critical in keeping the supply chain moving. This legislation will help accomplish that.”
To view the full bill, click here.
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.