Trucking Industry Wails About Its Labor Shortage: Here’s a Solution

Seemingly intractable problems sometimes have an obvious solution – here’s one for the trucking industry.

Seemingly intractable problems sometimes have an obvious solution standing right in front of them — the trucking industry and its dire shortage of long-haul truck drivers, for example.

Wrangling big rigs across the country is difficult and dangerous work, and the corporate giants that dominate the industry have long been wailing that they can’t find people willing to do the job. Their lobbyists have even pleaded with regulators to lower the age requirement so they can hire teenagers to drive these 18-wheel behemoths! What could go wrong with that?

Is there no better solution than child labor? “How about us?” asks the nonprofit group, Real Women in Trucking.

Little-known fact: Less than 5% of America’s long-haul drivers are women. Lesser-known fact: Thousands of women are eager to do the job, are fully qualified and hold commercial licenses to drive the rigs — but are constantly rejected when they apply for openings at trucking companies.

This is because most of the industry imposes a discriminatory gotcha to reject qualified female applicants. The gimmick is an unwritten, unlawful corporate rule, mandating that female job candidates can only be trained by female driving instructors. Obviously, since there are so few women drivers, very few female trainers are available, so — Gotcha! — women can’t get hired.

This is toothachingly stupid. Major corporations are loudly crying “labor shortage,” while the answer to the shortage is literally knocking on their doors. Also, these are well-paying jobs, one of the few available to people without college degrees — so the trucking industry is literally slamming the door to the middle class in the face of enterprising women.

My words to the industry: Stop crying, answer the knock and HIRE THE WOMEN! To learn more about this story go to:

Did You Vote for Six Judicial Elites to Rule Over You?

If the Democratic Party wants a big, hot issue that would force the GOP to admit its disdain for democracy — how about those Supremes?

The Supreme Court, intended to be an apolitical, neutral arbiter of legal cases brought before it, has been elevated to a supreme legislative body by today’s six-person majority of extreme right-wing partisans controlling this Third Branch of our government.

I’m hardly a legal scholar (unless you count my week and a half in law school!), but you don’t have to be in the Who’s Who to know What’s What. From my lifetime in politics, I can attest that what these Republican judges are doing is pure politics, using their black robes as cover for flagrant political activism. Coordinating surreptitiously with right-wing ideologues and corporate money powers that shower favors on them, they intentionally bring up case after case designed to rewrite America’s laws. These six aloof judges are effectively enacting a new political order of plutocratic, autocratic and theocratic power over the beliefs and democratic will of America’s pluralistic majority.

Posing as “conservative” jurists, they’ve steadily concentrated arbitrary lawmaking power in their own hands. Reaching way beyond the Court’s Constitutional role of deciding cases, today’s Supremes now effectively create law by choosing cases to bring up, favoring those fabricated by such right-wing political allies as the Koch brothers and the Federalist Society. Moreover, the six partisans cherry-pick isolated parts of a case to advance their collective agenda, even ruling on legal questions the case doesn’t raise, simply making up their own questions.

With no legal, ethical or electoral checks on this secretive, antidemocratic part of government, the court now routinely rules against workers, women, civil rights, the environment, personal liberties and… well, against America! Shouldn’t we have at least one political party calling them out and reining in their arrogance?

Jim Hightower