The head of Canada’s largest trucking firm says rampant driver misclassification is harming compliant companies like his as well as drivers, a problem felt all the more acutely in lean economic times, reports Canadian Press.
Alain Bédard, chairman and CEO of TFI International, is calling the phenomenon known as Driver Inc. a “disaster” for truck outfits because rule-breaking carriers who purposefully misclassify employee drivers and independent contractors while denying them legal labour entitlements gain a competitive advantage.
Driver Inc. refers to the misclassification of workers as self-employed, which means the company does not pay benefits, basic labour protections and payroll taxes.
The so-called Driver Inc drivers do not own their own equipment and drive for only one company and exert no control over their schedules. The practice is illegal — and risky, since workers do not receive basic entitlements such as workers’ compensation, overtime, holiday pay or severance.
Bédard insists the federal and provincial governments must do more to clamp down on scofflaws.
TransForce is the latest CTA member carrier to condemn the practice and publicly call on the government to enforce the labour and tax laws on the books to curb the problem – which Ottawa has been very slow to act on.
Canadian Press reported on Bedard’s comments, which were also picked up by national media.