Four Million Drivers Strong!

The following leaflet was written by a truck driver and supporter of Socialist Revolution, and is being distributed to truck drivers and other workers across the country. Download the two-sided foldable leaflet here and the letter-sized flyer here.

 

Four million drivers—that’s a lot of jobs that can’t be off-shored, and which won’t be automated for years. A total of 7.7 million people worked in trucking-related jobs in 2017, up from 7.4 million the year before. According to the American Trucking Association’s “2017 Trends” report, trucks still move 70.6% of all freight in this country—a whopping 10.77 billion tons of goods.

The US trucking industry generated $700.3 billion in 2017, a 3.5% increase compared with the previous year. But the “boomer” truckers are retiring, and according to the ATA, many companies are having trouble recruiting enough younger drivers. In fact, a majority of companies cannot hire enough drivers to keep all their trucks on the road.

And yet, according to the National Transportation Institute, driver compensation has risen only 6.3% over the past five years, barely enough to keep up with inflation. To be fair, full-time commercial drivers earn close to the median income for all US households: $56,516 in 2016, according to the NTI and the US Census Bureau. So truckers, in general, are doing better than many other workers in this economy—something we should be sure to remember when tipping service workers. But we work way more than 40 hours per week to earn those paychecks. With that taken into consideration, is this enough to make up for the grueling schedules and time away from family while the companies we drive for rake in millions?

Truck drivers work day-in and day-out tirelessly, collectively driving 140 billion miles per year. The economy could not function without us. And yet our wages and conditions continue to deteriorate. So why is it that our compensation stagnates or falls in real terms while the rich get even richer? That wealth does not fall from the sky: the working class creates it. Not a light shines, and not a wheel turns without the kind permission of the working class!

On top of all that, objective observers must consider the “bait-and-switch” maneuver pulled by the Trump administration. Time and again during his campaign, the “Billionaire Bully” swore up and down that he was for the “forgotten workers” of the economy. The game show host—whose most famous line was “You’re fired!”—courted working men and women, promising to lower taxes. And he delivered on this promise—by slashing taxes for the wealthy and the Fortune 500 corporations! Included in that Republican tax-cut bill was the repeal of the truckers’ “per diem,” which amounted to a healthy tax deduction for over-the-road drivers. So, he actually did the opposite of what he promised for long-haul drivers! Chalk up yet another false promise and betrayal by a big-business politician!

So we must ask ourselves: what is missing that would allow drivers to win better wages and conditions in this complex environment? Unity for one thing. Truckers must UNITE with each other and with the broader working class—whether we are currently unionized or not. And leadership. We need leadership that can help us harness our collective power to change the status quo. We need accountable leaders with the courage and drive to help us win the fight against stagnant wages and poor working conditions. Above all, we need political representation: a party of, by, and for the working men and women of this country. Taking on the companies without a political party of our own is like fighting with our hands tied behind our backs. Don’t be fooled again!

Socialist Revolution calls for a total break with the two capitalist parties and the formation of our own party, a working-class party, representing the vast majority of society. United under the banner of a mass socialist party, we could turn American politics upside down. Enough of the lies and hypocrisy of the Democratic and Republican Parties, which represent the interests of the bosses!

It’s not about being “conservative” or “liberal”—it’s about uniting the working class to defend our fundamental interests. Our strength lies in our numbers. Organized with our class brothers and sisters in all other industries, we can win higher wages, better benefits and working conditions, and more hours at home. But without organization, we cannot put up a serious fight against the powerful forces that exploit us.

The teachers, nurses, and autoworkers have already entered the struggle: that is the way forward! Just imagine if we unionized across company lines and collectively refused to drive until our demands were met? Everyone would clearly see who really runs society. The bankers and capitalists need us—but we don’t need them! Contact us today to help with this fight!

The Revolutionary Philosophy of Marxism Book

ISSUE 18 OUT NOW!
Socialist Revolution Issue 18 Cover

US IMT Logo

Socialist Revolution is the official publication of the US Section of the International Marxist Tendency.
Contact us at info@socialistrevolution.org or 646-791-6279
STAY CONNECTED