Monday, 28 November 2016

Driving Dilemma (Yes, Really, That Again)

On the weekend, Alex's afternoon driver contacted us to say that she was quitting the company.  The reason revolves around last week's snow.  Two week's prior to that, she had been asking for snow tires and was told no.  On Monday, when we had a massive (and predicted) snow dump, she was initially told that they might be able to do the tires on Thursday.  She complained and was then told to hurry up in the middle of the day and go to a place to get the snow tires on.  She did so, which took 2 hours.

The company then refused to compensate her for that time.  It was the last straw on the safety and compensation camel.  (They also refused to provide winter wipers, an ice scraper or even help out with a cell plan when they insisted on her carrying a cell phone.)

She offered to give them a week's notice so that they could do a smooth transition.  They told her to leave the keys in the van and that was it.

I'm very glad she contacted us because we have heard nothing from the transport company.  They called this morning to say that Alex has a substitute driver this morning (the third one in a row, which makes me wonder if the morning driver has also quit).  I asked them about the afternoon driver and they were surprised to learn that I knew of the situation.

This isn't the first time that we've seen the penny-pinching in the transport companies.  Four years ago, we complained to the company because the van had bald tires.  Another time, a driver casually mentioned he'd been driving with the "check engine" light on for three weeks and the company refused to do maintenance.

Obviously there's not much profit in the transport industry.  The drivers are barely paid minimum wage when you divide their hours by the route payments.  The schedules are rushed to include as many routes as possible.  The equipment and vans are falling apart and maintenance is put off until the last minute.  Communication is minimal to non-existent.  

I am curious to know if this is all in defiance of OSTA regulations (suggesting they need to spend some time on enforcement) or if the regulations simply don't exist.  Either way, the blind eyes are really starting to bug me.

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