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Sociology Paper: Institutional Affiliation The Big Rig (Essay Sample)


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The Big Rig
Institutional affiliation The Big Rig
Things began to change in the trucking industry in the early 1970s. Things worsened when Jimmy Carter thought that it was necessary to deregulate the industry. Under the regulation period, competition was minimal and the all companies set a standard rate to be charged when hauling goods. More importantly, all companies were required to seek federal authority to haul apart from agricultural products. During these times, truck drivers enjoyed a comfortable paycheck. However, the deregulation changed everything whereby there was rampant competition, and the prices of transporting goods were no longer set at a standard level. Due to competition, many companies came into existence, and the price of transporting goods was reduced as every company was looking for clients. By the early 1980s, the industry was at a very bad stage whereby drivers were receiving half of what they used to make.
Another major reason that led to the degradation of the industry is the increase in the decline of truck drivers unions. In every field/industry unions are an essential part of the workforce since they look after the interests of the workers. Unions also set standard rules and regulations to be followed by each worker so as to make work easier. Just like any other industry the trucking field also needs representatives, but with everybody being lured into private contracting it is going to be difficult. The decline in the number of unions which used to look out for the interests of the drivers is leading to the decline in the working standards. Since there are no more unions to set a standard fixed price of transporting goods, companies take advantage and charge lower prices ensuring private contractors get minimal goods.
In the book, the author gives an example of a truck driver he met who goes by the name of Claudio. He explains the situation that Claudio is in whereby he was previously employed and was earning around $800 per week, but he is now earning $41.85 per week. This is a significant drop in earning, and Claudio blames it all on the promise of better pay. He was promised by his employer that he would...
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