Mandates could significantly increase driver shortages


Mandates could significantly increase driver shortages

An agribusiness leader warns a vaccine mandate could significantly impact the availability of truck drivers and cause further damage to the supply chain.

Chuck Lippstreu is president of the Michigan Agri-Business Association.

“We estimate anywhere from 20 to 40 percent of truck drivers may leave the workforce or transition to other roles outside of agriculture if they’re subject to a vaccine mandate,” he says.

Lippstreu tells Brownfield a private-sector mandate would exacerbate a historic labor shortage and affect all businesses regardless of size.

“If you are a company with 100 or more employees, you are at an automatic hiring disadvantage,” he explains.  “If you are a smaller company that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re home free because you still rely on a functioning supply chain largely that’s facilitated by those larger companies.”

 While the recently signed infrastructure bill will help address long-term supply chain issues, Lippstreu says in the short term the supply chain needs workers and to keep products moving.

The Michigan Agri-Business Association recently joined with the Michigan Trucking Association calling on congressional leaders to share concerns about wide-ranging mandates and their impact on the workforce.