There have been some powerful arguments put forward in recent weeks why truck and van drivers and others working in the transport and logistics industry should be next in line for vaccination against coronavirus.
These ‘essential’ workers are clearly in the frontline, as are key staff in the NHS, putting their lives at risk to ensure the economy and its supply chains keep moving.
Transport workers and drivers in particular are crossing multiple borders and multiple counties day and daily, providing essential services, so it would seem very logical to many that they should also be given priority when it comes to the vaccination roll out.
This is even more urgent considering the sector is currently experiencing a spike in Covid-19 related absences which may have a knock-on effect on the supply chain.
Comments John Martin, The RHA’s Policy Manager for Northern Ireland: “Without the haulage sector’s commitment to continue to deliver foods, pharmaceuticals and general consumer goods during the protracted Covid-19 period the situation we are in would be much worse. The pressure the sector is under has increased significantly due to the end of the transition period and the NI Protocol.”
His words have been echoed by the transport and travel union TSSA, whose General Secretary
Manuel Cortes adds: “From getting key workers to hospitals and moving vital supplies around the country, our transport key workers have kept the country moving through the pandemic. Many have lost their lives to the virus, but they bravely continue to serve during this time of crisis. We must vaccinate transport workers as the next priority.”
And says the European Transport Workers Federation: “Now more than ever, it is time for everyone to step up their efforts to protect our transport workers. We are proud of them, as they are keeping the country moving during these troubled times as they ensure that medical supplies and essential goods for our survival are delivered.”
We will have the very latest on this developing story in the next print issue of Export & Freight