Schneider president calls for more foreign drivers

| 9/7/2006

The president and CEO of one of the nation’s largest trucking companies today called on Congress to allow foreigners to make up for the supposed shortage of truck drivers in the U.S.

Testifying before the House Highway Subcommittee, Schneider National’s Christopher Lofgren pitched that idea.

Rod Nofziger, OOIDA’s director of government affairs, was in the committee room when Lofgren made his proposal.

“The No. 1 thing that (Lofgren) did talk about is this ‘driver crisis,’ or the shortage of long haul truckers,” Nofziger said. “He suggested, as a solution to the ‘driver crisis,’ expanding the number of visas that can be issued for foreign truck drivers and also making those visas permanent.

“This is a good indication of where (big motor carriers) are heading – that is, looking overseas for cheap labor.”

One member of the committee – Rep. John Boozman, R-AR – suggested that, instead of importing drivers from other countries, trucking companies should look inside the U.S. for more drivers, and cited military retirees as one possible labor pool.

– By Reed Black