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Canada’s trucking industry, FTL Dedicated Truckload Freight or not, is notable for the high level of immigrant workers present in the segment. The CTA, worried for their safety, is calling on the Canadian federal government to protect these immigrants from abuses.
That call to action follows an investigation from the Globe and Mail newspaper, which alleged that British Columbia’s trucking industry, alongside immigration consultants are making foreign workers in the industry pay thousands to have to work, which is illegal under Canadian law.
The report also noted that a lot of these workers had minimal or no experience in handling such vehicles, their heavy loads, and the extreme conditions like heavy ice or snow, that those in the industry have to deal with, amounting to exploitation.
According to some of these foreign workers, they worked in spite of such conditions in order to be eligible for Canadian permanent residency.
The Globe and Mail’s investigation started following an incident wherein a loaded truck crashed into an entire hockey team in Humboldt, Saskatchewan, resulting in the death of 16 people. The truck was driven by Jaskirat Singh Sindu, an Indian immigrant who came into the country as a student. The inexperienced driver is currently serving an 8-year prison sentence for the incident, and will be deported back to his home country upon the end of his incarceration.
The CTA noted how important immigrants are for Canada’s trucking sector, whose vacancy rate is among the highest in Canada at 6.6%, amounting to about 20,000 unfilled employment positions.
The Alliance says that the country, and the trucking industry, with its FTL Dedicated Truckload Freight companies, will only suffer if the government stops immigration programs, as there are actually a lot of commercial drivers that underwent proper training and legislation, employed by legally compliant and responsible companies, operating across Canada.
Instead, they say that the CTA says that protecting the immigrant workers from abuse and ensuring that they end up with the majority of legally compliant, and responsible operators in the country will be what’s best for Canada.
In response to the incident in Humboldt, the CTA has put together a 10-point plan to improve oversight and deal with non-compliant companies in the Canadian trucking industry.