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Temp. Foreign Worker Program Misclassifies Drivers: CTA

TORONTO — Government policy discourages people from breaking into the trucking industry because it does not recognize truck driving as a skilled occupation, the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) claims.

Just take a look at the changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) that federal Employment Minister Jason Kenney announced earlier in June.

“On the one hand, the government wants the TFWP to be a last resort or perhaps disappear altogether,” says David Bradley, president of the CTA. “On the other, because truck drivers are lumped in with unskilled, low wage jobs like burger flippers, younger or displaced Canadians are unable to access programs like the Canada Jobs Grant, which would help them with the costs of the training they need before obtaining a commercial licence and becoming employable.”

“This is a real disincentive for people who might otherwise consider a truck driving career,” Bradley adds.

Kenney announced the government is phasing out the TFWP. They’re also going to have more inspections, higher fees to apply for temporary foreign workers, hefty fines of up to $100,000 for violators and more criminal investigations, to name a few changes.

“In an industry as fragmented and diverse as trucking, it’s not surprising there are varying opinions on the TFWP,” Bradley says. “Even prior to the announced changes, the program was considered by most to be too cumbersome and restrictive for anything other than a temporary, stop-gap measure to fill unseated trucks when a company is unable to fill those positions with qualified Canadians.”

“The TFWP is what it is,” he says. “It’s not an ideal program, nor is it a solution to the shortage of qualified truck drivers. But it’s all that is available to fill some seats on a temporary basis for those who choose to use it.”

The Conference Board of Canada estimates that about 33,000 drivers will be needed in the for-hire trucking sector by 2020. 

Bradley says the industry does not expect government to solve the driver shortage, but governments have an important role to play, too.

“They determine which occupations are eligible for shared training funds; which qualify for immigration; and they set licensing standards and oversee the training institutions,” he says.

While industry stakeholders agree that truck driving should be considered a skilled occupation, the fact that it isn’t is a big challenge to addressing the driver shortage, Bradley says.  

CTA and the provincial trucking associations are calling upon the provincial governments to introduce mandatory entry level training for truck drivers. With the support of Employment and Social Development Canada, the Driving the Future Project – being managed by Trucking HR Canada in cooperation with CTA –  is developing a new national occupational standard for entry level truck drivers and laying out a framework for better labour market information.

And Bradley says the CTA wants to work with the federal and provincial governments to fulfill the industry’s need for qualified Canadian transport operators or with qualified immigrant drivers on a path to citizenship.

One of the TFWP changes – the move from categorizing occupations as skilled or non-skilled to looking at wages paid in comparison to the province’s average– may reflect an effort to deal with the skilled versus unskilled issue, he says. But that’s not a good solution for trucking.

“The wages and the demands of the job for local pick-up and delivery drivers, for example, cannot be compared to those of long distance over-the-highway drivers, where wages tend to be higher and the shortage is felt most acutely,” Bradley says. 

 
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Sandra

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No CTA. member should be able to to hire more than 2 TFWs per year until truck drivers are paid for all hours worked by all CTA members

Anonymous

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Truck drivers are treated like dirt by the trucking companies and some shippers and receivers

ken

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I just talked to 2 plumbers they are both making over $30.00 plus a $2.00 per hour tool allowance, plus matching funds in into the pension plan up to 8% of their wages plus a dental plan. We are lucky to get $22.00 per hour on local work and $.50 per mile. One of the plumbers showed me after 44 hours he goes to $48.75 per hour. they are averaging 16 hours overtime per week and home 1400hrs sat and start 700hrs Monday. Both these plumbers had class 1 permits and told me that I could start as a helper at $21,50 plus overtime.

Anonymous

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David Bradley needs to sit down with the owner-ops and set up a plan so that the CTA members make owner-ops want to stay in trucking. David Bradley also needs driver reps from 40 of their members across Canada and meet with them once a month like the OFA ex does to make truck driving better and to listen to the truck drivers concerns. The CTA needs to ACT on those concerns and any CTA member who does not clean his/her act up in 60 days on the treatment and pay of truck driver(s)lose their membership and be prevent from buying any trucks for 3 years.

Anonymous

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There are too many large companies bidding at too low of rates. The trucking rates need to be higher with the cost of fuel and the cost to compete to hire drivers that are working in construction. All CTA members need to set 1% of gross sales aside to pay for training of new drivers and with the ownerops to see what can be done to keep those people in trucking and pay company drivers by the hour from the Elog.

David

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Ken got right no C.T.A. member can import foreign drivers if they have more than 10 employees. They also can not use their owner-ops to import truck drivers until owner-op pay goes to $1.26 plus a current fuel surcharge of $.41 per mile plus free insurance.

Lisa

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The C.T.A. members wanting bring in foreign truck drivers need to offer to pay for truck driving school for people from Canada that want to get a class 1 permit. Then Pay them $100.00 per day after getting their permit for 100 days of work while driving with a more experienced driver. they need to pay the drivers after those 100 days $20.00 per hour for the next 12 months then go to $22.00 per hour off the gps or E-log and overtime after 50 hours per week. They should also pay owner-ops $1,27 per mile plus current fuel surcharge. Brokers should limited to no more than 10% off the top for commission. No truck load should be allowed to be hauled for less than $2.00 per mile less 10% brokerage or $1.80 per mile to the truck and trailer

Anonymous

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Truck drivers no longer want to come to Canada in large number from countries like the uk. or Holland wages are higher per hour than in Canada. The C.T.A. members need to pay drivers a lot more money than they are getting now.I work for a large city in Canada and we get between 40 and 100 application per week from long haul drivers. This for a split shift bus driving position at around $27.00 per hour. I find it hard to understand why if the truck driver pay was raised we could not get more drivers in the trucks.The CTA. needs to set driver pay for their members before saying that they need more cheap overseas truck drivers to underbid smaller trucking companies. This pure greed on the part of some C.T.A. members.

Anonymous

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The CTA needs to raise driver pay if they want to bring more truck drivers as a skilled trade

John black

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The loads getting moved when shippers offer fair rates. I like Orlin idea of load board for these loads that are not getting moved.

Orlin shoemaker

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The government needs to set trucking rates before bring in anymore foreign drivers. the needs to set up load clearing house for all these loads that are not getting because of a shortage of drivers. No company should be able to bring more than one driver per year until they show they had 500 loads they could not cover in a year above $1.50 per km plus $75.00 per stop including first and last and waiting pay at $55.00 per hour after one hour.

Anonymous

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The ATA members need to set min rates of pay by their members to get drivers treated as a trade. There no shortage of truck drivers.

Janet

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Truck drivers will classed as a trade when they make $22.00 or more per hour. When the maritime trucking companies pay those rates to ALL drivers maybe the goverment can give them one permit per 3 months.

Mark Perkin

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Ah yes, David Bradley and his cheap friends looking to classify drivers in the same class so they can continue to bring in more cheap labour via the TFW program and keep wages stagnant. Drivers need to wake up and understand that Bradley and his band of idiots DO NOT represent their interests. We don't need nor do we want TFW. What we need is for the CTA to start demanding its members obey the Labour Laws of this country and pay overtime... Something you'll never hear David Bradley mention... I wonder why eh...

Nancy

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The OTA needs to set a rate of pay for all their members to pay. Trucking needs to pay like a gasfitter or other trades or cop or a nurse before their members are issued more foreign drivers in Ontario

Tim

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The CTA and its members need to sit down with their customers and the government and set rates to owner-ops and hourly pay to drivers to anyone on E-logs and overtime after 10 hours per day. The rules need to change so drivers with points against their licence and new drivers are able to get insurance. Many truck drivers are doing other jobs that pay more than driving truck today, as drivers wages are less than the average wage per hour ($23.00 per hour plus overtime) The driver shortage would disappear in 18 months with those changes and allow every trucking company to bring one mechanic and one driver every 6 months.

paul

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All trucking companies owners should able to bring in 2 drivers and or mechanics. Any owner operator that is getting $1,27 per mile plus the current fuel charge( $.43 per mile) plus insurance and plates. should able to bring one driver for 8 months of the year like agr. worker program

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