More than 2.5 million truck drivers have threatened to quit their jobs if President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate goes into effect, according to the American Trucking Association.
ATA executives told the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee this week that Biden’s employer vaccine mandate, which requires companies with more than 100 employees to require vaccination or weekly testing, would result in millions of truck drivers walking out on the job, which would worsen existing supply chain issues.
“We’ve tried to be very clear to the administration — I understand the logic behind it — but if you do this, these are the consequences,” ATA President Chris Spear explained, according to the Washington Examiner.
“So if you’re trying to solve the supply chain problem,” he said, “you’re actually compounding it and actually hurting the very problem you’re trying to fix.”
The trucking industry is already short-staffed, according to the ATA. Trucking companies are operating with 80,000 fewer drivers than they were before the pandemic, and if the vaccine mandate goes into effect, they will lose another 37% of the workforce.
“It’s not about being anti-vax,” Spear said, noting that most truck drivers hesitant to get the jab don’t want the federal government mandating matters of personal health.
Biden’s vaccine mandate was temporarily suspended this week after the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals halted it, citing “grave” constitutional issues.
“Because the petitions give cause to believe there are grave statutory and constitutional issues with the Mandate, the Mandate is hereby stayed pending further action by the court,” the ruling reads.
Republican-led states filed multiple lawsuits on Friday challenging the mandate’s legality. Louisiana businessman Brandon Trosclair, with assistance from the Liberty Justice Center, a public interest law firm, and the New Orleans-based Pelican Institute for Public Policy, also filed suit.