Teamsters union denounces far-right so-called ‘trucker protest’

Representing 1.4 million workers mainly in the trucking industry in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters is speaking out against the far-right “freedom convoy.” Referred to in the media as a “trucker protest,” this group has been terrorizing residents of the Canadian capital Ottawa and blocking a key bridge between the United States and Canada, falsely claiming to speak for all truck drivers.

François Laport, President of Teamsters Canada and Vice President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, issued a statement titled, “The Real Enemy for Truckers is Covid-19”. Laport argued:

“The so-called “freedom convoy” and the despicable display of hate lead by the political Right and shamefully encouraged by elected conservative politicians does not reflect the values of Teamsters Canada, nor the vast majority of our members, and in fact has served to delegitimize the real concerns of most truck drivers today … what is happening in Ottawa has done more harm to Teamsters members, be they Truck Drivers who were trying to deliver their loads, or hotel, restaurant and healthcare workers who were intimidated, abused or prevented from accessing their workplaces, by several protesters.”

Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa also issued a statement denouncing this far-right movement. He said, “The Teamsters Union denounces the ongoing Freedom Convoy protest at the Canadian border that continues to hurt workers.” Hoffa added: “Our members are some of the hardest workers in the country and are being prevented from doing their jobs. The Teamsters call on the organizers of this action to end this protest.”

The Ambassador Bridge is a key artery for trade between the U.S. and Canada, especially for the auto industry, and its blockage by the far-right protesters is taking a serious economic toll on union truck drivers.

Laport pointed out in his statement that 90% of the 15,000 long-haul truckers his union represents are vaccinated. While far-right demagogues claim they are fighting for the interests of working people, organized labor knows the truth: Opposition to public health measures is in the interests of the bosses, who want to “reopen the economy” without regard for the death and suffering this will cause workers.

Related Articles

Back to top button