Two of the most concerning items in Manitoba’s trucking industry right now are health related. First, we continue to hear from drivers who are being denied access to medical services, such as dentists, doctors, chiropractic services, and more. This is unacceptable: drivers and the trucking industry have literally been the backbone of the economy over the last several months. When no one else could go out, the trucking industry did, making sure the supplies needed made it where they had to go. Those same offices denying access to drivers today were supplied with PPE from those drivers yesterday. Our drivers are essential service workers. Now, more than ever, we need to ensure those in our industry are physically healthy; to deny medical service to drivers is unacceptable. We are working to address this in a few ways, and while we are pleased to report that the reception to our complaints has generally been welcoming and pro-active, we are still hearing from drivers. We would encourage you to have any driver – MTA member or not – who has been denied access to medical services in Manitoba to contact the MTA with the name, date, and type of medical service denied so we can follow-up on this pressing concern.
The other health concern is mental health. MTA staff are in regular contact with members and non-members alike, and the reality is that people are struggling. Stress levels are high for many reasons, and we don’t always know or appreciate what those reasons are. We know it’s been said in the past, but we really need to be kind to one another because we don’t know what others are going through these days. Everyone’s experiences these days are different. No one is suggesting you need to take on more than you can handle; self-care is also important. Maybe you let someone in traffic, or shovel your neighbour’s walk, buy someone a coffee, or just reach out via text or phone call to see how someone is doing. Your efforts will be appreciated. Let’s take care of each other as we work through this.