According to a report from Business Insider, long haul truckers who went for Trump in the 2016 election are quickly turning on him as they have seen their take-home pay collapse while the president has failed to come through on helping them out.
Last week the truckers held a protest outside of a White House Rose Garden press conference, honking their horns to disrupt the president — only to have the Trump tell reporters they were expressing their “love’ for him.
That, in turn, angered truckers even more.
“In fact, it’s a protest on what truck drivers say is a lack of transparency in how their rates are calculated. Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, their pay has sank to unusually low rates,” the report states before adding, “Some 100 to 200 truck drivers have parked in Washington, DC, since May 1, according to Todd Spencer, who is the president of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association. For weeks, these drivers have sacrificed their pay to protest. ”
Trump has promised to address how independent truckers get paid by brokers who pair them with retailers and manufacturers to move loads, with the truckers claiming they are getting short-changed.
“Trump has said these brokers are ‘price-gouging’ truck drivers. Still, no action has been made on Trump’s side to advance transparency into trucking rates,” the report states. “So the protests in DC continue — and truck drivers say they’re still struggling as the federal government fails to provide further stimulus money, too.”
According to driver Desiree Wood, she and others who participated in the protest were stunned when Trump boasted that they were showing support for him.
Saying she “just couldn’t believe it,” she added, “When he got elected the first time, a lot of truck drivers supported him with an awareness that he didn’t know a lot about trucking.”
With a close election coming up in November, Trump might be in danger of losing another blue-collar demographic he needs if he hopes to be re-elected.
“A Verdant Labs analysis of Federal Elections Commission data found that nearly three-quarters of truck drivers are Republican — one of the most conservative jobs in America, along with surgeons and farmers,” Business Insider reports. “Trump proved especially popular among drivers. Truck drivers supported Trump in droves, according to an Overdrive magazine survey of its readers before the 2016 election. About 75% said they planned to vote for Trump, up from 66% who supported Sen. Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential nominee in 2012. But, the love affair has soured. The Trump administration has delivered a few blows to America’s 1.9 million truck drivers.”
According to Wood, “Some of them have an awareness now that Trump is sort of like that guy who tells you you’re the only one just to get through tonight. And then tomorrow, he doesn’t answer your call anymore.”
Another trucker backed her up on Facebook.
“You’re a political toy! Placated and being used,” trucking activist Charles Claburn wrote on Facebook. “You leave that street (and) it’s over. We need more trucks. They see us, now they need to hear us! There needs to be a clear ultimatum sent by this industry they have 6 weeks to deliver the promises, if not in writing, then it’s time to do it right.”
According to independent driver Steve Propec who lives in Chicago, his income has dropped to a third of what he made last year and his attempt to get financial aid through the Small Business administration went nowhere — a story familiar to other truckers.
“We are going deeper in debt — no relief, no SBA answer, nothing,” Popec said in an interview. “To say truckers love the president, for what reason? What has he really done for truckers or any average American worker? Please, prove me wrong Mr. President.”
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