The Canadian Trucking Alliance’s social media campaign against the Driver Inc scheme is ringing in the legislative halls of Ottawa as MPs are calling for an end to the illegal misclassification system in trucking industry.
Carol Hughes (Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, NDP) spoke out against Driver Inc in Parliament this week and urged the federal government to take action.
“Mr. Speaker, today, I recognize the hard work of trucking companies and drivers who keep our supply chains and economy moving. However, those companies and employees are coming face-to-face with an illegal tax scheme that threatens the livelihood of the industry, the rights of truckers and the safety of people on our highways,” he said.
Explaining to MPs how the system works, she continued: “Driver Inc. is a tax scheme designed to convince employees to register as a corporation. The company then pays the corporation, which is not subject to normal tax deductions. Drivers are not entitled to overtime pay, paid sick days, vacation or severance pay.
‘This illegal tax scheme leaves truck drivers unprotected in the event of a workplace accident and vulnerable to unjust termination. This illegal tax scheme leaves truck drivers unprotected in the event of a workplace accident and vulnerable to unjust termination.
She pointed out CTA and organized labour groups like the Teamsters who represent “legitimate carriers and labour stand together in condemning this practice that benefits large corporate entities that push the demand for this illegal tax scheme.”
“We must work together to clamp down on systemic labour abuses, close tax loopholes and support those who respect the rules, protect workers and keep our economy rolling.”
Driver Inc opens the door to widespread tax evasion and allows companies to sidestep the Canada Labour Code and all the rights and entitlements afforded to employees. This includes many of the Federal Government’s signature initiative such as new paid medical leave provisions expected to be implemented before the end of the year.
It is estimated this scheme also siphons away of over $1 billion a year in tax revenues from vital Canadian services and infrastructure, with that lost tax revenue being funneled into the underground economy. As a result, Driver Inc. has produced an uneven playing field in the trucking industry as it puts labour and tax compliant companies at a severe competitive disadvantage.
In October, CTA and the trucking industry launched its largest push yet to let the Government and the Canadian public know what is happening in the sector. Through a coordinated social media and public relations campaign, the goal of this effort is to draw attention to the issue and the abuse that is taking place.
On top of half a dozen message graphics populating various social media platforms, part of this new campaign includes a website to help educate the public and elected officials about the Driver Inc. scheme, its impacts, and how we can all work together to ensure integrity and resilience is brought back to Canada’s supply chain. To learn more, visit stopdriverinc.ca or stopponschauffeurinc.ca.