How trucker protests are scolding the auto industry

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“What people don’t seem to understand is that when that truck isn’t moving, they’re not making money,” Ms Walker said, noting that drivers carrying certain types of goods, such as certain hazardous materials , are limited to crossing the Ambassador. Bridge.

The slowdown in Canadian trade will disproportionately affect New York, Michigan and Ohio, said Arthur Wheaton, director of labor studies at Cornell’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations. At the same time, he added, the protests “certainly raise concerns for all American manufacturers.”

“There’s already a shortage of truckers in North America, so protests preventing truckers from following their routes are exacerbating problems for an already fragile supply chain,” Wheaton said.

Automakers had hoped that shortages of computer chips and other components would ease this year, allowing them to focus on the long term: the transition to electric vehicles.

A bigger fear for many elected officials and business leaders is that the Ambassador Bridge scene could inspire other protests. The Department of Homeland Security warned in an internal memo that a convoy of protesting truckers was planning to travel from California to Washington, D.C., potentially disrupting the Super Bowl and President Biden’s State of the Union address on 1st of March.

“While there is currently no indication of planned violence,” the memo dated Tuesday said, “if hundreds of trucks converge in a major metropolitan city, there is a possibility of serious transportation disruption, federal government operations, commercial facilities and emergency services”. services through traffic jams and potential counter-protests.

Mr. Chiodo, the Canadian labor leader, said that “people who are protesting are doing it for the wrong reasons. They want to go back to how they were before the pandemic, and in effect, they’re shutting things down. »

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