Operation Black and Blueby Jake Tully - Published: 1/28/2019
When drivers need to turn to an organization that will fight for their rights, Operation Black and Blue is there for them. Protecting one’s trucking job is important to protecting the economy in the United States.
Trucker rights have been an issue that many drivers have fought for since the inception of the industry. From higher wages to better operating conditions to less regulation on the road, drivers have been constantly battling the state and federal government in order to more comfortably do their job. While many groups for driver equality exist, none in recent times have been as proactive or aggressive than Operation Black and Blue – a group that has many in the industry wondering what they stand for and how they can help the industry.
What Exactly Is the Operation?
According to its own words, this particular group classifies itself as an organized protest formed in order to preserve and maintain the overall integrity and dignity of truckers in the country by standing up against regulations that are unfair to the driver. As a unit, the group has worked to orchestrate protests throughout the country, with particular emphasis as of late on truckers in the California area who often face long hauls and are the subject to the oppression of the time-sensitive mandates. To this end, the Operation seeks to organize within major trucking hubs and asks drivers to cease operations in order to help support their cause.
January 5th: Trucker Faces 20 Years After Pleading Guilty To Smuggling Alien Found Dead In Locked Toolbox
January 2nd: Police Identify 2 Oregon Truck Drivers Killed In Fiery Head-On Crash
December 27th: Iowa First Of Eight States To Debut New Truck Parking Information System
Who Are The People Behind This Operation?
According to the organization’s site, the people behind the project are American truckers and those who support individuals in their trucking jobs who are protesting the implementation of electronic log devices and the federal Hours of Service regulations (link to FMCSA). The site reports that truckers of all ages and backgrounds from across the country comprise the group and frequently gather to protest this implementation of the rule and ELD-related devices.
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Does Black and Blue Support Other Driver Causes?
While the group’s primary focus is centered around hours of service-related issues, this certainly does not stop the organization from looking at the larger scope of issues within trucking overall. The group aims to improve the quality of life and the quality of jobs for drivers overall, in hopes to help make the industry more of an equitable one, as well as an industry in which new drivers may more easily enter it and find the perfect trucking jobs.
Why Does This Operation Oppose the ELD Mandate?
p class="content_text"> According to sources at Operation Black and Blue, the ELD mandate is a chief concern because it suppresses drivers within their jobs despite being originally put in place as a measure to protect and benefit drivers. The Hours of Service regulations in addition to the ELD mandate harm all types of drivers – particularly Owner-Operators – and hampers the ability for the operating side of trucking to grow despite the demand for drivers overall. In short, the group feels that the ELD mandate was unfairly passed without thought to the future of the industry, further stripping drivers from their individual freedoms on the road.
What Other Actions Has Operation Black Taken Towards Furthering Its Cause?
The truckers behind this cause have specifically stated that they are done with writing letters and will instead focus on actionable and organized methods to get the word out there. However, they’ve also been active on social media, gaining a large following of drivers who share similar opinions, helping to connect likeminded drivers across the country. Lastly, the organization uses its platform specifically looks at jobs in terms of numbers – showing a spotlight on the available trucking positions within the country and the sheer demand for drivers overall.
The Name Has a Purpose – It’s Not Just “Operation Blue”
Some people may think that the name of the organization was selected because it appeals to the idea that drivers and Americans have been so “beat up” by big government that they are finally ready to stand up and protest. While this is partially true, Operation Black and Blue is so named because it represents the freedom that Americans want and need – blue- and the devastation that might occur if drivers continue to be suppressed in a thriving economy -black. The name is not a threat, however – it’s a warning that the government may amend things if they are diligent enough to pass laws that protect drivers and de-regulate those existing laws that prohibit drivers from success.
Will This Blue and Black Cause Help Drivers Find Jobs?
While the outcome and future of the ELD mandate as well as other regulations rests on the shoulders of the government, some are hopeful that a large public outcry will help roll back some of the oppressive laws in place. If this occurs, many believe it will be easier for all types of drivers to find open positions, with a likely emphasis on owner-operator jobs and jobs for students entering the trucking industry. When there are less obstacles to overcome and sensible laws are already in place, it may come as a surprise to few that the marketplace for drivers and jobs may vastly open up.
Black and Blue Freedom for Drivers Means A Better Trucking Industry
The group contends that when drivers feel they have more freedom on the road, they are not only better workers, but happier workers. When truckers live without the immense pressures of regulation, being timed on a device, or having to worry about incurring a penalty on the road, they are also generally happier drivers overall. (link to Atlantic) The mission is not just to overthrow a mandate that the group opposes overall, but to cultivate a better experience for everyone involved and to make it so that drivers can live as American workers rather than indentured servants of the road.