Rumors of trucker strike cause backups at Alabama gas stations

| Thursday, August 18, 2005

The threat of a trucker strike and fuel shortage near Florence , AL , has caused lengthy lines at gas stations in the area.

According to media reports, cars were lined up at filling stations in the area after word of a pending shortage and truckers parking their rigs caused a public panic.

“We just came by one of the local stations a while ago, and I’d guess there were 10 or 15 cars in line there,” said Jim Clemmons, a trucker and OOIDA member from Florence .

Land Line was unable to confirm the presence of a strike as of press time, but has received tips from drivers who report a word-of-mouth campaign in the tri-state area for drivers to park their trucks until reasonable fuel prices and a surcharge are brought into play.

“It’s mostly independent truckers that can’t afford to run trucks with the fuel prices the way they are, the taxes, the (lack of) fuel surcharges, rhetoric, red tape and paperwork,” driver Dwight Kirby told “Land Line Now.”

According to WHNT-TV in Huntsville , AL , one source said the fear of a trucking strike was sparked by outlandish fuel prices.

“There’s no official word right now,” the source said. “I think it’s just that right now, a rumor caught on and spread like wildfire.”

A reporter with the Daily Times said about a half-dozen gas stations in the area briefly ran out of gas because of the panic buying.

However, Jonathan Edwards, spokesperson for Edwards Oil Co. in Lawrenceburg , TN , said his business has not seen a decrease in supply.

“I don’t know what’s going on, but we have gas and we’re open,” Edwards told the Times Daily.

Talk of other strike efforts has also sprouted up around the country. About 15 trucks were spotted parked along Highway 24 near Lexington , MO , on Thursday, sporting signs with slogans like “Boycott Diesel.”

A petition titled “Support America ’s Truckers” has also begun to circulate, listing a woman named Marie in Belleview , FL , as its instigator.

– By Aaron Ladage, staff writer
aaron_ladage@landlinemag.com

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