Edmonton, November 10, 2015 — Alberta’s Minister of Infrastructure and Transportation announced yesterday that his government will now begin to recognize the DND 404 military driver’s permit. This recognition will now allow for the awarding of the civilian equivalent commercial license to serving and recently retired vets who had a valid DND 404 within the qualifying timeframe.
Until now, such military driving qualifications were not transferable into a commercial license despite the fact that many serving and retired veterans have already acquired the needed driver training, qualifications and experience in the Canadian Armed Forces to drive heavy military vehicles on Canadian roads and abroad. By now recognizing the commercial equivalent of the various DND 404 military driver permits, vets can more readily and seamlessly transfer into the civilian work force in a variety of commercial driver roles.
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Already in place in Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador, this initiative stems from the Helmets to Hardhats Canada program, designed to give Canadian Armed Forces veterans the opportunity to obtain unionized – and therefore well-paid – jobs in the construction industry.
Teamsters Canada decided to join this initiative by Canada’s Building Trades Unions to counter an anticipated labour shortage in the coming years. According to a study by the Conference Board of Canada, the trucking industry will need to find 25,000 drivers by 2020. The Conference Board also predicts that this shortage will have a significant impact on businesses, productivity, consumers and, of course, workers.
“I would like to congratulate the current Transportation Minister, Brian Mason, former Minister André Corbould as well as Sean Hammond of the Ministry, for being so proactive in dealing with the challenges facing the trucking industry,” said Rick Eichel, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local Union 362. “Without their dedication, none of this would have been possible.”
Today’s announcement, much like efforts by the Canadian Forces Liaison Council to promote the hiring of Reservists, is a concrete example of the results that industry, government and unions can achieve when they work together in the public interest.
The Canadian Forces Liaison Council: another great initiative
Teamsters’ support for members of the Armed Forces does not end there. Teamsters Canada, along with the government of Alberta, are working to promote the Canadian Forces Liaison Council’s mission to help roughly 26,000 Canadian Reservists reconcile their civilian and Armed Forces obligations.
“The invaluable contribution of our Reservists must be fully recognized,” explained Roy Finley, Executive Assistant to the President of Teamsters Canada. Organizations have everything to gain by hiring Reservists and giving them some flexibility so they can continue to be involved in the Armed Forces.”
Besides hiring Reservists, organizations that already employ Reservists are asked to sign a Statement of Support to indicate to the business world that they value the contribution of these members of the Armed Forces. Employers are also encouraged to consider measures such as integrating Military Leave for Reservists in their overall HR policies.
“Canada cannot ignore talented people like our Reservists,” added Roy Finley. “These workers are highly motivated, skilled and loyal and I believe the Government of Alberta should encourage the employment of these Reservists.”
Teamsters Canada represents 120,000 members in Canada in all industries. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, with which Teamsters Canada is affiliated, has 1.4 million members in North America.
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Stéphane Lacroix, Director of Public Relations