Delivery drivers applaud proposed access to bathrooms law
Proposed provincial legislation would require businesses to grant access to washroom facilities
After several hours on the road, it's not unusual for a truck driver to have to relieve themselves when they get to their destinations. Unfortunately, many truckers are being turned away from the toilets by the businesses they are delivering to, usually out of COVID-19 concerns.
"It felt horrible. You know, as truck drivers were on the road, I had to Uber about 10 minutes out to go use the washroom in a nearby restroom," said Divi JJ, a trucker from Scarborough, explaining one occasion where he was denied access.
JJ and several others in the delivery business are applauding a proposed law announced by Labour Minister Monte McNaughton on Wednesday.
The law, if enacted, would compel businesses to allow delivery people to use the facilities.
"This is something most people in Ontario take for granted but access to washrooms is a matter of common decency currently being denied to hundreds of thousands of workers in this province," McNaughton said.
Thanos Zikantas, CEO of Jubzi Inc., has about 50 drivers that deliver food from various restaurants. He can't believe a law like this should be necessary.
"It's unfortunate that we're even having this discussion right now, because we should consider our drivers as human beings," said Zikantas.
Jim Pereira, the operations and safety manager at On Freight Logistics, said it's especially hard on women truck drivers if they are denied bathroom privileges.
"I think it's a great law. The basic need to go to the bathroom is something that shouldn't be taken away from anybody, let alone a truck driver," said Pereira.
A spokesperson for FedEx said the movement of goods is an essential service.
"While some of our drivers have experienced difficulties finding public facilities to use in their journeys, we are grateful to hear Premier Ford acknowledge the role our drivers are playing to respond to this crisis," the company said in a statement.
The proposed law also has the support of the Ontario Trucking Association.
There is no timeline for when the bill will be introduced.