Australian Truck Drivers to Protest Aug 31; Potential Spill Over to US Causing Goods Shortage

A large-scale planned protest against Covid-19 restrictions by truckers in Australia has sparked concerns about supply shortages in the country. The Daily Mail reports that truck drivers plan to “block every highway entering into every state at the same time,” 9 a.m. on August 31. They are protesting overbearing health checks, border closures, vaccine requirements, and fines. The country has seen some of the most extreme Covid restrictions in the world.

The plan became known when one truck driver posted a now-viral video advising Australians to stock up on goods because “the truckies are going to shut down the country” he went on to say, “we’re all going to do it together and remove the s**t government.” Other truckers quickly began posting videos pledging to join the movement.

Romeo Georges, a truck driver who went viral following a recent anti-lockdown protest in Sydney, posted a video to his Facebook account declaring his support for the protest. He stated, “If the truck’s tires stop rolling, Australia stops rolling. Everything in your house, from your TVs to your fridges to the food you eat, arrives to you from truck drivers. Everything, not one single thing that you need, comes to you miraculously or just appears before you, it needs a truck driver, it needs a truck.”

Beginning on August 30, workers from New South Wales “virus hotspots” will be banned from leaving their local council if they have not received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine or a doctor’s notice saying they can’t be vaccinated. Other regions are also implementing restrictions such as required regular testing and border passes.

The Transport Workers Union stated that although the demonstration is not sanctioned, it understands why truck drivers are unhappy with the restrictions saying, “truckies have been the backbone of the Covid response, dealing with border chaos and closed roadhouses. ‘They are angry for [a] legitimate reason. The current Covid testing regime forces them to wait many hours, eating into already scarce hours that should be used to earn an income.” A GoFundMe campaign was started to support the striking truckers but was removed from the platform after raising $100,000 of its $200,000 goal.

New South Wales and Victoria police both said they were aware of the planned protest.

Australian grocery chain Woolworths also said, “we’re aware of the situation and monitoring it closely. We hope further talks can bring a resolution to the matter in the coming days.”

Thousands of truck drivers in the country are planning a separate, union-sanctioned protest the weekend before the planned shut down over pay structure with a major employer.

The August 31 protest could spread to the United States. According to CDLLife, American truckers, healthcare workers, and military members could protest mandatory vaccinations for employment and travel on the same day as the Australian protest.

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